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What would be your 5-minute life do-over?
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Ever had that foot-in-mouth moment you wish you could take back? Youre not alone. But these kind of do-over moments are more than just momentary embarrassments. They can be life lessons that create positive change. - photo by Connie Sokol
Ever had that foot-in-mouth moment that you wish you could take back? Youre not alone. But these kind of do-over moments are more than just momentary embarrassments. They can be life lessons that create positive change.

This whole concept came from a chat with my hair stylist who shared that she had taken a very minor fall on a ladder, more like a misstep. And yet, the wound had become infected and it took several months, antibiotic packs and numerous trips to the doctor to recover. She lamented that if she could have that five minutes to do over, she would.

Later, we officially discussed this concept with my radio show ladies on "The Living Room." What seemed innocuous now became life-changing. We began to see that as we evaluate these moments, we can choose to handle things differently, creating powerful change in our lives.

First, there are levels to these do-overs. The most superficial, of course, are the ones with which we can have a good laugh (especially after the fact), and thats healthy and often helpful. Years ago I remember in my sleep-deprived state heading to do a twice-a-week radio show. As I entered the building I looked down and realized I was wearing two different shoes (having been unable to decide which to wear that morning). Oh yes, Professional Me. Happily, I shared the experience on air and it actually sparked great connection with listeners who had done similar things. This do-over wasnt serious and ended up being a connector.

Second, these do-overs can be a priceless opportunity for change. As we consider the more serious ones, those that unfortunately but readily come to mind, we can ask ourselves, are there any patterns in the experiences?Perhaps I talk too much, or speak without a filter, or are more harsh in my tone than anticipated. As we evaluate these moments, we can choose to handle things differently ideally, from the get-go.

We can learn from what didnt work well and change it for next time. Socrates said it best: The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Years ago I remember asking after a friends mother, only for her to stare at me and say, Remember, she passed on? A definite do-over. That experience, however, taught me to pay more attention to details in my conversations and ask about someones family without specifics.

Its powerful to consider how to re-do an experience, almost like forgiving yourself knowing that youve learned something and would be wiser the next go round. When I was young and newly married we had a neighborhood talent auction. I bid on and purchased a family night packet with treats from a lady who was legendary for her baking skills. Weeks passed and she finally dropped off the packet, but no goodies, which is what we really wanted! So the next time I saw her, I said with a smile and a playful attitude, So, how about them goodies? or some attempted light comment. Her face totally fell and the immediate feeling I had was, She is running on empty. With several little kids she had spent her time making this beautiful and detailed pioneer packet, and here I was whining about treats.

Later, I got up the nerve to talk to her, wondering if she even remembered. But she had, and she appreciated my apology. That experience taught me to appreciate what comes, that people always have a backstory, and to think twice before speaking (still working on that one).

Consider a life do-over thats been nagging you. Use it as a positive experience for change and a lifting of an emotional load. Choose one behavior or action you can do to resolve or re-do it. Perhaps call someone, or give a meaningful gift, or even pray to know what to do from here. As you honestly and humbly approach this experience, it can be a happily shifting one for all involved.