How to Reframe Your Faults and Mistakes


Learning to reframe your faults and mistakes is necessary to the recovery process. For more info about addiction recovery, visit The Edge today.

Written by

brian-mooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

jeremy-arztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer


January 13, 2022

The phrase “people aren’t perfect” rings true when everyone makes mistakes in their daily lives.

It’s a part of human nature.

While many consider mistakes to be negative and believe they should avoid them, some positive outcomes of mistakes can help people learn about themselves. 

It’s normal to feel frustration when experiencing faults and mistakes. However, for some people, this shame and frustration begin to run their lives, especially in recovery. When experiencing active addiction, many people do things they are not proud of, and when they stop using substances, this guilt and shame can be overpowering. 

Luckily, in recovery, individuals get the chance to reframe their faults and mistakes with a positive mindset. Even though their actions had negative outcomes, they can also find positivity and move forward. Some techniques can help individuals look at their faults and mistakes with a different outlook.

The Past Doesn’t Define the Future

One of the most important things people in recovery can remind themselves of is that their past does not define their future. Individuals must realize that they are not their mistakes or faults; they are not their addiction.

Instead, recovery provides the opportunity to move forward. Post-treatment, individuals get a second chance to choose who they are and what they want to do with their life. Just because they experienced addiction does not mean they are doomed. Many people in recovery move forward and achieve their wildest dreams, despite what they have been through. 

Develop Realistic Thoughts About Mistakes

Seeing faults and mistakes resulting from something specific and external, rather than something internal, can help individuals look at their mistakes with a more positive and realistic frame of mind. 

When one makes a mistake and automatically equates it to failure, they are not helping themselves in the long run. The best thing to do to move forward is to reframe these thoughts of failure. 

Reminding oneself of the following can help them develop realistic thoughts about mistakes:

  • “Mistakes are a sign that I am challenging myself to do something difficult.”

  • “I can handle my faults.”

  • “I can learn from my mistakes.”

Learn From Your Mistakes

A healthy way to reframe mistakes is to see the errors as experiences an individual can learn something from. One can ask themselves how this mistake can add to their life. How can this mistake shape their future decisions and help them grow? 

While it can be challenging, it is crucial not to let errors define individuals and their lives. According to an article published in September 2018 from Colorado Technical University titled How To Learn From Your Mistakes, most successful people strive due to their failures, and without them, they wouldn’t end up where they are today. 

From this article, individuals can better understand that failures and mistakes are learning experiences. One can look at the mistakes of their addiction and learn how they would like to move forward in their recovery journey.  

How to Learn From Mistakes

The best way for an individual to reframe their faults and mistakes is to learn from them. But how does one do that? 

#1. Own Up to Mistakes

One cannot learn from their mistakes until one admits they have made one. While it can be hard to admit to the things done in active addiction, it is a necessary part of the process. 

It is important for individuals to recognize that their morals, values, and beliefs were not what they were struggling with addiction. The things done in the past do not reflect one’s current self. An individual needs to recognize that they are now in recovery and making an effort to change. 

#2. Reframe the Error

How an individual views their mistakes can determine how they react to them and what to do next. It can be easy for one to view their faults in a negative light. However, reframing these mistakes as an opportunity to learn can motivate individuals to become more motivated and resilient in their recovery journey. 

#3. Analyze the Mistake

In order to learn from mistakes, individuals must analyze them honestly and objectively. It may help for an individual to ask them themselves the following questions:

  • What were they trying to do?

  • What went wrong?

  • When did it go wrong?

  • Why did it go wrong?

#4. Put Lessons Learned Into Practice

Learning from one’s mistakes is one thing but putting them into practice in another. At this point of learning to reframe faults and mistakes, individuals may run into challenges. As humans, we are habitual creatures, and it can be easy to fall back into old routines. 

Acting on what one has learned will require the discipline and motivation to change their habits. Doing so will help individuals avoid self-sabotage in the future and allow them to reap the rewards and benefits of the recovery process. 

Putting lessons learned into practice means an individual will need to identify the skills, knowledge, resources, and tools that will keep them from repeating their mistakes.

Faults and mistakes can turn into all-consuming guilt if not moved through. No matter where you have been or what you have done, you can learn to reframe your faults and mistakes. Remembering that you are on a journey of change, and you can learn from any mistake you have made can help you move forward in your recovery journey. At The Edge Treatment Center, we understand the weight of carrying the consequences of mistakes. We are here to help you continue living a successful life in recovery while confronting these issues. Call us today to learn more about how we can help.

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