A few mistakes everyone makes (and how to get past them)

Becoming an adult is difficult. It comes with added responsibilities, bills to pay and life-changing decisions to make. So it’s natural that along the way, we’re bound to make a few mistakes. But that doesn’t mean that those mistakes are the end of the world. Here are a few mistakes that almost everyone makes as they grow and mature.

1. Overdrawing your bank account

The majority of young adults have faced the dreaded email or letter chastising “overdraft!” There are few things as immediately gut-wrenching as seeing that you’ve overdrawn on your account because we all know that, had we planned better, this wouldn’t have happened.

But, IT’S NORMAL! Managing your own finances is hard! When you first start (and sometimes even years into it), it takes a while to figure out how to balance and account for all of your surprise expenses or simple mistakes. But luckily, you’ll get to a point when you’re no longer scraping the bottom of the barrel at the end of each pay cycle and the days of the overdraft will seem like ancient history.

2. Forgetting to be their when a friend of family member needs you

We always tell those we love that we’re there for them no matter what. But experience tells us that’s easier said than done. Sometimes, being there for someone is simple. Holding their hand at a funeral or telling them you love them. But sometimes it’s difficult. Sometimes it’s inconvenient or demands more of your attention or resources that you’re immediately willing to give. And sometimes, we get lost in ourselves and leave our friends behind.

It happens. And sadly, sometimes your friends will let you down too. But the best part of relationships is that we can apologize, forgive and move on together. We can learn that it takes more to be a friend that just being a fun person to hang out with. And we can learn to be the person who is always there, at 3 a.m. or halfway across the country.

3. Trying to do too many things

At one point or another, most people find themselves drowning under the responsibilities they’ve taken on and wishing someone would take something off their plate. We try and be superwoman (or man) and agree to everything people ask of us.

We know it’s hard, but learn to say NO! It was likely one of the first words you learned as a child, but in a lot of ways, we forget to use it when we need it most. Saying “no” doesn’t mean you’re not an amazing, capable, helpful human being, it just means you have limits. (Which is healthy!)

4. Overestimating ourselves

On the same note, we can find ourselves overestimating our abilities, our strength, our intelligence and many other things. We get swept up in our pride and think we can do things others can’t. We force ourselves into situations where we don’t have the experience or try to attempt something that’s out of our breadth.

Having faith in yourself is a good thing, but it’s also good to have a little humility. Again, knowing your limits is a good thing, and it doesn’t mean you’ll never be where you want to be, it just means you aren’t there yet.

5. Underestimating ourselves

While having some humility is a great thing, we must be sure to never second-guess what IS true about us. If you’re really talented in a certain area, own it! Be proud of your accomplishments, step up when someone needs your skill set and embrace the good things others say about you. Be sure to know your worth and accept that oftentimes, we’re missing how great we truly are.

So surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth. When someone compliments you, don’t refute it, embrace it. Take joy in your accomplishments and be truthful with yourself about who you are.

6. Falling for someone you shouldn’t

Heartbreak is practically unavoidable and often, we wind up heart-broken over someone we should never have let hurt us in the first place. Bad love is the worst kind of love, but it happens just as often as the good kind.

Listen to your friends when they express their concern. And when it does end, don’t beat yourself up about not seeing it sooner. There’s no truer saying than “Love is blind,” so don’t blame yourself for falling in love’s traps. But while you’re waiting for your next love, sharpen your eyes to what you truly deserve, and don’t settle for anything less.

7. Telling others you’re okay when you aren’t

We tell each other we’re “fine” all of the time. We envy strength and resilience. But we shouldn’t let ourselves get so caught up in being strong when we really need to be weak.

Force yourself to be honest. When someone asks you how you are, tell them the truth. Be willing to be vulnerable and willing to accept that fact that you aren’t okay when you aren’t. Everyone has been in a place where they need help, so be willing to accept it.

8. Not forgiving yourself

The truth is, we’re all bound to make mistakes. But the biggest mistake of all is holding onto them instead of letting them go. Learn to accept them for what they are, a learning experience that will push us to be better next time. Because isn’t that what life is all about? Finding out how to be better? And you’ll get there, one mistake at a time.

Iris Proctor
Iris is the director of ArborWoman.