Health & Happiness: Learning from our mistakes

By Camille Keith

April showers bring May flowers.

This common saying is often used as a reminder that better things are to come. It also helps remind us that we often have to experience something we don’t like to get a result that we do want.

Instead of thinking of a challenge as a problem, you could focus on the opportunity to learn something new. This isn’t to minimize that something is challenging, but to remember that if you avoid everything that is hard you’re eventually going to miss out on positive experiences too.

You have probably noticed that ruminating on something that didn’t turn out the way you wanted makes you feel bad about what happened, but doesn’t help you move forward.

Remember that no one is perfect. Think about learning how to play an instrument or another new skill. You probably weren’t very good the first time, but with practice you improved. Instead of focusing on the mistakes you made, remember that this is a normal part of learning a new skill. Now that you know what doesn’t work, you can adjust your approach.

As a counselor I provide an outside perspective to help you look at challenges in new ways. During sessions I often help clients explore where they are feeling stuck. While I can’t tell you exactly what you should do, I can help you explore your options so you feel more confident with the choices you are making. Trying something new is hard, and counseling can help support you through this process.

Camille Keith, MS, NCC is an LPC Intern under the supervision of Tara Sanderson PsyD, and provides individual counseling to help you clarify your values and maintain your sense of self in relationships. For more information, call (971) 295-1547 or visit