Mistakes can be valuable learning opportunities in a life of recovery. Mistakes can teach you how to refine your approach and pursue goals, and that it is more important to view mistakes as opportunities rather than failures. Encouraging individuals to curb expectations, to be kind to themselves and to learn how to communicate needs effectively is a large part of recovery. Overall, the emphasis of self-awareness, patience and growth are pillars in the recovery process.

Mistakes are inevitable. In recovery and life, mistakes play a significant role in keeping you from pursuing goals or teaching you how to refine your pursuits to reach your goals. Mistakes are lessons rooted in opportunity, and if, up until now, you have been repeating the same mistakes, it might be time to shift your perspective so that you may find the opportunities in your mistakes. That is, your behaviors are not random; they are clues as to how you approach challenges in life and recovery. 

Recovery is about improving yourself every chance you get; therefore, when a mistake occurs, you can learn to ask yourself, “What can I do so that this doesn’t happen again?” Alternatively, when something good happens, you can ask, “What can I learn so that this keeps happening?” Looking at mistakes as teaching tools for recovery can teach you how to change your approach and learn so that history won’t be doomed to repeat itself. 

Curbing Expectations

You may feel a surge of energy and feel like you can take on anything immediately following treatment. However, if you’re not careful, you might try to take on everything at once; therefore, you adopt high hopes and expectations about where you see yourself in a week, month or year. That is until you hit your first wall. Setting yourself up so high only to meet a challenge or setback can be devastating to your recovery. It can leave you feeling angry and disappointed. However, if you look at the situation as a whole, including where you made a mistake, you will likely discover that recovery requires patience and planning to sustain. Instead of giving up on your goals, using the lessons of your mistake helps you realize that curbing your expectations and focusing on the small steps is the key to achieving the ultimate goal. 

The same logic can be applied to people. Learning not to expect anything from anyone is a lesson that can make a considerable difference in your life. When other people don’t meet your expectations, it creates disappointment, anger and sadness. Assuming that people will act a certain way is unfair to both you and the other person – you can’t control what anyone says or does. However, you can control yourself and your reactions, and sometimes you need to make this mistake to learn this. Remember to be reasonable about the expectations you set for yourself and others. 

Be Kind to Yourself

During treatment, you will endure a lot and learn a lot about yourself and your addiction. The process might feel as if it is moving fast and that you’re absorbing so much information. However, it takes time to process what you learned, and much like curbing your expectations, you’ll need to be kind to yourself and understand that it will take time to digest everything. 

Feeling overwhelmed can lead to negative feelings and low self-esteem and confidence. Any mistake you make early on, whether it’s moving too fast or feeling frazzled, is common. Instead of putting yourself down or feeling like a failure, the opportunity to make these mistakes can help you to realize that you need to treat yourself well. Falling short of your standards might be painful; however, learning to give yourself a break is essential. Sometimes making these mistakes can help you learn how to treat yourself the same way you would treat a good friend going through a struggle. 

Learn What You Want and How to Ask for It

Sometimes frustrations occur because you’re feeling misunderstood or even that your situation is unique. However, carrying these emotions inside until they boil over is not healthy for your recovery. The mistake here is that you might be expecting people to understand exactly how you feel, but how can they if you don’t express how you feel? Understand that people cannot read your mind. Mistakes made in communication can teach you how to ask for exactly what you need and what you want. It might not always be easy, but it is less frustrating than dropping hints and waiting for the person to pick up on them. Being specific helps keep everyone happier. 

Knowing what you want and being clear about it takes a lot of inner growth. When you uncover what affects you concerning your recovery needs, such as knowing your triggers, you can help you better prepare for them and help you communicate better with others that support you. It will help strengthen the relationship with yourself and others. 


Recovery can become quickly overwhelming. While mistakes are never enjoyable at the onset, learning how to take a step back and evaluate the situation from a broader scope can help teach you about yourself and your recovery. These lessons can continue to teach you about yourself and your disease. While they are not desirable outcomes, understand that they always offer you a choice; you can stubbornly refuse and resist them or use them as an opportunity for growth. At New Hope Ranch, we provide the facilities necessary to help make your road to recovery as prepared and smooth as possible. However, we also understand the necessity and inevitability of mistakes, which is why we focus on the treatments, therapies and support networks needed to suit your individual needs. If recovery becomes overwhelming, it may be time to reach out for help, and we here at New Hope Ranch will work just as diligently to get you back on track. Never wait to act on getting yourself help. To learn more, reach out to us at our Manor, Texas, center today by calling (737) 600-8565.