There’s a concept in psychology called “The Corrective Emotional Experience.”
It refers to an experience you have later in life that “corrects” a bad experience from earlier in life that left you feeling emotionally upset. Typically, those bad experiences involved relationships with people close to us.
If we’re still upset about that prior experience, a new relationship that’s healthier can help correct that bad emotional experience.
It’s not that it erases it, but it is about creating something new that’s more recent in your experience and therefore has this corrective quality to it.
In sports and in life, you might think of it as the do-over, the second chance. And if you think about it, there are all kinds of things that happen to us in life where a corrective emotional experience could come in handy!
If you order breakfast, and it’s not very good, you can have a fantastic lunch that you like and create what I call “The Corrective Gastronomic Experience.”
If you’re getting dressed to go out and don’t feel so hot about the close you put on, you can change your clothes and create a “Corrective Sartorial Experience.”
The real nugget here is not just correcting the experience —the do over — it’s the realization that there is power in the choice of doing something to correct that bad feeling or that bad experience.
The corrective action itself is important.
A study years ago showed that a surprisingly large number of people who call a psychologist’s office to make their first appointment don’t show up for that appointment.
And the reason given for that phenomenon was many people feel better for just having done something … just having made that call.
I hope if there are things going on in your life today that you feel you’d like to correct, you’ll take the opportunity to create a corrective experience … no matter what it is.
Remember that part of the benefit is the experience. And In part of the benefit is that you chose to take an action.