Have you heard of the saying “Don’t cry over spilled milk?” If you haven’t, it means not to fret over situations that have already happened. Often we faced dire situations that may or may not direct caused by our actions. Instead of panicking that the world is going to end (it might feel it is right at that moment of time), the crucial thing to do is to evaluate what is your next step to reduce the consequences. I’ll share my observations and some points to this effect.

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Keep Calm
Easier said than done. I rather say, leave a few moments to panic but don’t go overboard and start blaming yourself for a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. If you have not made any mistakes in your life, that’s a mistake too! Learning to let go and breathe calm you down and allow your mind to clear up to think of your next steps.


The Blame Game
It is always easier to push the blame upon others and release yourself from all the guilt. However, it is never right to shy away from responsibilities and even it is not your fault, you should rise above others and take charge instead hiding in the shadows.


The Consequences
Make a list what, who, why and how. What is the impact? Who is impacted? Why as in what ways does your action impact? How do the consequences unfold?


Make a List
Is there any way you can do to avoid the consequences? How about minimizing the impact? Lastly, any way you can turn the situation around to become something positive?

Mindy* 27, Freelancer
I made a horrendous mistake as a barista and my boss fired me on the spot. I wasn’t happy there anyways. But the last thing I wanted was to be fired without an income. My aging parents were affected and I couldn’t pay my course fees on time as well. Instead of wallowing, I took on a part-time waitressing job and pile on freelancing work where I deliver door to door groceries in the neighborhood. Now, I’m getting more groceries orders than I can handle and I might just quit my waitressing job altogether to become a full-time freelancer.

Francis* 24, Logistics Specialist
I accidentally cancel a whole lot of shipment that needs to be delivered to customers before the Christmas period. I almost wanted to cry on the spot. I called up to pull in some favors and managed to secure the shipment again but the earliest the goods can be delivered is a day after Christmas. I phoned almost 100 customers to apologize, I did get an earful from some customers but most of them are kind enough to let it go and in fact, a couple of them expressed their surprise at how readily I admitted it was my fault. My supervisor didn’t reprimanded me instead add on a process flow to ensure such careless mistake does not happen again.

Nurul* 21, Teaching Assistant
I was pretty new at a biomedical company and I made the mistake of entering some error data and submitted into the medical files of our suppliers without double checking. The moment I realized my mistakes, I worked overtime late into the night to correct those files. No one found out my mistakes, not even my bosses. But I left the company after a few months, the incident really impacted me and made me questioned myself if I am suitable for my job. Now I am happy that where I am.


Learn from the Past
Last but not least, learn from your mistakes and never to repeat them. A lesson learned is a maturity gained.

Do you agree with the above? Any stories you would like to share? Come and let us know at the comments below!

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55 replies on “Don’t cry over spilled milk

  1. well said..mistake can happen anywhere, anytime. But it matters whether it is recurring or not. And to avoid the recurrence, the past needs to be analysed and acted upon. you have explained it beautifully.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I think three is so important to do. Actions and consequences. I’ve heard of the others before and they are just as important but I have never put down a list to what might happen if I do xyz… I know what happens in my mind but to see it in ‘black and white’ must make it more real. Cheers for the post x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. But doesn’t it just feel horrible when you’ve messed up? even with light consequences it can be very embarrassing. Your advice is good: trying to deal with it logically and with a cool head puts it behind you quicker!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We sometimes beat ourselves up too much because of mistakes made and wish we crawled into an ant – eater hole and die.
    What matters is not how many mistakes we make but how we respond to them so as to avoid repetition.

    Kelly, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well said! I feel not to repeat the mistake is the most difficult step and I bet it needs to be repeated more and more in your head so your nerves get used to not to repeat the same mistake. Wonderful post Kally πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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