Mistakes do not make you: 6 tips to build up your self-esteem and happiness

You make mistakes. Mistakes do not make you.

Lovely insight 😊.

Quotes are just quotes, but if it resonates with you, there is a deep truth in there that you can start using to make your life better in many ways.

Once we realize that our behavior and our actions are things we DO and not the things we ARE, a big door of peace of mind and happiness opens.

Every time you place some negative (or positive) behavior on IDENTITY level, you are undermining your true potential.

Hmmm, that sounds a bit out there.

Practically, if you say “I’m a failure”, you are undermining your self-esteem, self-worth, self-confidence and with that you’re probably generating quite some unpleasant feelings and a life in which you feel stuck.

You could however also approach the situation that makes you think or say that you’re a failure, just as that, a situation.


You’ve behaved in a way that did not make you succeed (or at least not achieve your probably ridiculously high norms).

But that doesn’t make you, as a person, a failure!

For sure you have succeeded in past endeavors, so it simply can not be true that you ARE a failure.

Besides this insight to reframe these thoughts to behavior-items instead of your identity, there are a few other simple steps that you can use whenever you feel you’ve not done what you or your environment might have set out as an expectation.


A very important one is to use past “success” events to prove your mind wrong. Be rational and honest about it. If rationality is long gone, try the next tip.

(To train your mind to counter the negativity bias and consciously catch more success-moments, you can use this journal)


Talk with someone you trust and be vulnerable (men, this one’s for you). If you chose the right person, you’ll experience that you’re not the first one going through such an experience and will likely feel “normal” again. If that person didn’t help you, ditch him/her.

Just kidding 😉. Maybe try with a coach or someone else.


You can also wonder how you would “judge” your best friend if he or she went through that experience. Probably not so awful as you’re judging yourself, right? So no need to worry about what others think of you, or at least not to that extent!


Realize also that you cannot be perfect. No one is. It’s fine to make mistakes. It’s in fact needed. Focus on the growth and learning you can take from that situation. Failure and challenges are part of life.

I found this insight on perfectionism also very helpful:

From the moment you think you’re a Rockstar in something and that Rockstar image is important for you, than every little thing that is not perfect is an attack on your Rockstar ego and brings you down. You’re caught up in a constant battle to protect your perfect Rockstar skills and are therefore not focusing on growth anymore. You believe you’ve reached the top and you’re focused on maintaining that top-level.

This explains by the way the strength of the underdog going after the current champion. The champion is in the mindset of maintaining top-level, the underdog is in the mindset of growing.


Realize it’s futile to condemn ourselves for our mistakes. Condemning can simply not bring any good.

But don’t condemn yourself for condemning yourself! You’ll get caught up in a vicious loop 😊. What happened, happened, it’s ok. What happened afterwards, happened, it’s ok. Go on till you stop fighting reality and find yourself feeling ok with everything that you’re thinking and doing.

In this example, see if you can accept that you’re condemning yourself. Once that step is taken, see if you can accept your behavior that triggered the negative emotions and the condemning.

If you want to learn more, check my webstie or some great events that are coming up to help you feel and perform at your best.

To your best life 🥂

Jan Aquarius

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