Although the words ‘everyone makes mistakes’ sound clichéd, they are very much true. Still, why do we have such a hard time accepting our blunders?
What we class as mistakes lie on a scale. Maybe you scuffed a new pair of shoes or lost a train ticket. These small lapses can disrupt a day but, really, if they are only affecting you in a minor way, it’s better just to say ‘oh well’ and get on with it. As anyone that is chronically clumsy knows, some mistakes cannot be helped. In fact, if you are making a lot of these kind of oversights, it often means that you are stressed: your mind is so full of tasks, it has no room for remembering keys or umbrellas or scarfs. If this is the case, getting irritated by yourself will just make things worse because this is your body telling you to relax.
What about when your mistake is more severe or has affected someone close to you? These kinds of mistakes are harder to navigate. Getting to the point where you have accepted your part in creating the problem is a significant realisation; it is all too easy to blame the world and some people may stubbornly do so for all they are worth.
But what is the alternative and how can we deal with it? Stuck between self-reproach and the knowledge of a hurt or destruction caused, it can seem there is no way out. If you have done something wrong, some of this discomfort is natural and, I would argue, necessary. After all, to feel no sense of guilt would show general disrespect to the value of whatever has been disturbed.
Over elongating the process of self-blame, though, is unhelpful. Continually putting yourself down with accusatory introspection allows the mistake, small or large, to further its destruction, rather than develop into an active and constructive experience.
Looking at the reasons why this happens can help.
- Firstly, it may be an indicator of more deep-seated self-esteem issues: where every mistake is amplified and seems to lead to another to validate a sense of low self-worth. In other words, the ‘there’s no going back’ or ‘I’m a failure’ attitude.
- Secondly, it may be linked to a network of hurt and blame. If somewhere within us, the mistakes or carelessness of others towards us lie unresolved, they may manifest in an unwillingness to forgive or deal with our own mistakes. When we openly accept the humanity and imperfections of others, we must also accept our own.
“Acceptance is not a fixed state but a constant reconciliation of our identities with the changing situations of the world around us”.
When we accept our mistakes, recognise our tendencies and realise that we may fall and fall again, we grant ourselves the unconditional love we deserve and that we can then share around. It takes a lot more effort to repair and face cracked relationships and situations than it does to destruct them further, but a genuine apology means a lot and we are redeemed by how we try.
Guest Post from: Ursula Fleming. She loves everything creative, cooking and exploring. Ursula currently works for FeedMyHappy. www.feedmyhappy.com is the go to place online for people looking for happiness and personal development and offers a supportive, structured and secure environment for an affordable monthly price.
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