Big whoop - you've messed up. Fret not, it's a bad day not a bad life! People can mess up and people do mess up all the time. Take some time to calm down and let that fact sink into the deepest embers of your body. Feel the regret and overwhelming disappointment that will roll over like high tides.
You have to feel it because only then will you be able to assess the damage done.
This morning, I had to cancel my interview because it would clash with my class schedule. What a mess! I had a good talk with the module leader at 7 AM in the morning. Although he was slightly sassy and sarcastic (that with a rather soothing tone), I totally understood his perspective on things. Heck, nobody would be in the mood to settle problems at such ungodly hour.
I apologise profusely and thanked him during the phone call. After which, I panicked and took 5 minutes to collect myself. Phew, what a morning.
2. Move past it.
Now that you've wallowed in the misery and have fully accepted the fact that yes, you messed up (if not, get back to 1), it's time to take proactive action. If you were lucky and had the chance to chat with your superior/in-charge regarding the mess, ask for advice. Ask yourself the following: What should you do next? What can you do to rectify the situation? How can you move past it?
Once you've got the answers to them (or a rough idea), take action. If you can, do it almost immediately. The faster you take action, it reduces the amount of mess you have to clean up afterwards.
In my case, I immediately emailed the people affected by the situation. After which, I left home and rushed to school so I won't be late.
3. Be optimistic.
Not gonna sugar coat, this is probably the most difficult part of coping with mess. After the whole shenanigan, it would only be human nature to reflect on our mistakes. But it's also important to realise that we should not dwell on these mistakes. After accepting the fact that it's a mistake and that you've taken actions to improve the situation, you probably have nothing else to do right? I mean you've done all you could. So what's left to do? Mind control.
Tell yourself you can do it. You got this. A pat on the back and a head held high, move on with the rest of your day.
Lastly but most importantly, breathe guys. Take a time out after all that and calm down. Collect your thoughts and eliminate negativity.
For me, I took a nap. Nothing better than that right?
The takeaway here is that everyone messes up sometimes but what you do with the mess afterwards is important. The actions that you take after that will be impactful - it can exacerbate the problems or help to minimise damage/losses.