I'm a huge fan of management guru Tom Peters. I have (and have read) several of his books, and I agree completely with his philosophy regarding business, which is basically "be 'out there', be on the cutting edge, take risks and when you fail, make it a big failure".
That last point ... "fail in a big way" ... is important. Because, if your failures are all tiny, then ... well ... you're simply not taking enough risks. Ever heard of New Coke?
I'm taken to applying Tom's (yes, he and I are on a first-name basis ... seriously) principals to my personal life (in addition to my business). I sometimes have a "big failure" in my personal life (e.g. 'D'oh! ... I shouldn't have said that').
But just as important, I allow those around me -- especially those I love -- to fail in a big way.
And that's how I "cope".
You see ... the only people that can hurt you are those you love. I mean, if the deadbeat down the street who only mows his lawn four times a summer (after it grows to a foot high) thinks you're a total idiot ... well ... who cares?
But if you wife tells you that you act like you're 14 years old ... ouch ... that stings.
What do you do?
You realize that they took a risk by speaking their mind ... they took a "big risk" ... and in your mind, it was a big failure.
HURRAY! At least they're taking a risk in your relationship ... a risk to Open Up ... to Be Honest.
Or they're just dropping the ball and screwing up.
In any event, you allow them to Fail and you move on.
It's not so much that you forgive them (although that's always a good idea), you forget about it.
Same with your own past: Forget about it!
Got a messed-up past? Either because of your own failures of those you love? Here's what you do:
You tell yourself that it was a different person.
I'm 100 percent dead serious. That doofus that did such-and-such?
That wasn't me. That wasn't who I am right now. And that's a key point.
It's not about failing to own up to your responsibility. It's about not beating yourself up about the past ... something about which you can do nothing to change.
Do your best. Try hard. Fix what you can.
And ... literally ... forget the rest.
All The Best,