by Cornelius D. Jones
If you ever meet a person that doesn’t acknowledge that they have made mistakes, you should acknowledge that you are in the presence of a liar. Mistakes are often invaluable life lessons that prepare us to handle future or similar experiences better. If you don’t make mistakes, how can you expect to GROW and to EVOLVE? Every mistake is truly a chance to learn something different. It may not always seem like it but one of the simple perks of growing older is the ability to look back and see where and how you messed up. I believe that my abundance of mistakes will one day prove to make me a very wise old man. I have messed up a lot throughout life and made plenty of mistakes. The good thing about a mess is that you can clean it up. Over the years we all eventually become a cleaned-up mess after we learn from the mistakes we made.
If we look back with an open heart, we can often self-correct along the way. Without mistakes there would be no need for correction, then again mistakes would be a permanent problem without the ability to correct them. Once we learn from our mistakes, we become wiser and stronger in other areas of our lives. By now you know from your own life experiences that mistakes can be painful but very useful ways of learning.
Sometimes, "blowing it" can make you realize what your priorities and values are and that's valuable insight you probably couldn’t have attained any other way. This knowledge not only makes you more comfortable with yourself, it also helps you move forwards in a more confident way. Remember this…Winners can tell their story finish-to-start, confident that they know the formula that led to their success. Some of my greatest successes were born out of the lessons that some would consider as failures.
Three Ways to Own and Learn from Mistakes
1) Be open to making mistakes
Accept that you are human and that each of us will do things we regret. Each of us will take a wrong turn, hurt someone's feelings, or make bad choices. Be open to making mistakes and embrace them as an opportunity to learn valuable life lessons. They hurt sometimes - a lot of the time. However, if you are open to learning from your mistakes, you will be able to move on rather than wallowing in regret or disappointment. If you don't learn the lesson, it will repeat itself again and again in different situations until you get it. Experience is a hard teacher.
2) Be aware
In other words, look for areas of improvement. Be on the lookout for "mistakes" or ways to strengthen your character. Be aware of what you are doing, why you are doing it, how you feel, and how you make others feel. This way of thinking is about being proactive and seeking betterment to avoid unnecessary blunders. If you are aware of how your behaviors impact others, then you can determine whether that is enhancing or hurting your relationships.
Words are powerful and can’t be recaptured once they are released. Sometimes, words just don't land the way they were intended. Most people have difficulty expressing what they really mean and maybe you are the same. Being fully aware of how you impact others, you maintain an open state of learning which allows you to constantly practice being a better person - a better version of yourself.
3) Accept full responsibility for life choices
Accepting responsibility can be liberating. For many of us it may be hard to admit when we are wrong. Through accepting responsibility, it demonstrates maturity, courage, and a commitment to personal growth. It's both appropriate and respectful to others as well to ourselves. Excuses don’t excuse, and explanations certainly don’t explain. When you accept full responsibility for yourself, you also accept responsibility for making things right. It prevents the opportunity to justify the behavior. If you recognize that something was misunderstood, then focus on providing clarity. This can help build greater understanding and bridge the any gaps in communication. The act of accepting responsibility allows you to learn to make better choices to avoid problems, mistakes, and misunderstandings in the future.
When we remain open to learning life's lessons we gain invaluable insight from every event, situation that we encounter. It is important to maintaining an awareness of how you respond in relationships with others about the mistakes you’ve made. My recommendation is to accept complete responsibility for yourself. The gift that you receive is to empower yourself to create richer, more meaningful relationships with others. You also will develop more self-respect and learn to stop beating yourself up over your mistakes. Try taking responsibility, make things right where necessary, and commit yourself to developing greater integrity and a more mature character through owning the mistakes that you make.