Making mistakes is not an easy thing, especially when it impacts others, or our conscience, or our ego. Many find it very difficult to even acknowledge being wrong. Instead, it may seem more pliable to make excuses, blame the circumstances onto things beyond our control, or point the finger at someone else that could be touted as being responsible, and as a replacement take the fall. Admitting a mistake oftentimes takes courage to be sufficiently humble, especially if it requires a request for forgiveness. The funny thing is, making mistakes is part of life. Even for those that say their biggest mistake was admitting to one they really didn’t make.
So, what is the error of making a mistake? Is the problem actually making a mistake or not admitting to one? For those that prefer to live under a false pretense that making a mistake is unacceptable, they may also be displaying an underlying dread that screams out-loud one’s fear of being considered weak and imperfect by others or themselves. The fear of being judged or unaccepted by self/others compounds the need to deny their wrongs, maintain a sense of hidden pride, and resume a superficial façade that mistakes are signs of weakness. As an anonymous author writes, “Making mistakes is better than faking perfections “
If mistake making is really part of being human and no one is perfect in their own right, maybe the biggest error of making a mistake is not seeing its value? The denial of making mistakes truly is a short-gap measure to growth and learning. What a loss it would be to make a mistake, without resolve; without guilt and remorse, without forgiveness and consolation, without recovery and change, and without the recognition that we all give and receive mistakes just as part of our human condition. Acknowledging our mistakes keeps us honest, humble, more accepting, and allows us to breathe a contrite spirit amongst us.
Making mistakes is obviously not the practical or desirable means towards growth. We truly do not intentionally go about seeking a means to make mistakes. However, acknowledging them surely gives us the opportunity to move forward if we allow it.
Claudia A. Liljegren, MSW, LICSW