Some of the most successful people have no problem admitting that they have made a mistake. It is for this reason that they may be so successful. We must be willing to admit our mistakes, before we can be open to learning a new way.
Face it; we do not like to admit that we have made a mistake, even if it is a simple one. Being corrected is no fun at all. Sometimes it is just a matter of opinion, and there is no right or wrong. Other times, we are mistaken; or we just screwed up, plain and simple. Although it may not be on our top ten fun things to do list, some of us are able to admit mistakes without any hesitation, while others can not acknowledge them to themselves, let alone to others.
We all know people who can do no wrong, at least in their own mind. Even the possibility of being mistaken, makes them feel deeply threatened. Rather than viewing mistakes as opportunities necessary for self-growth, they may deny, rationalize, and blame their mistakes on others. Why? Take a look.
Reasons people do not admit simple mistakes
- All or none thinking: Thinking that one mistakes equals total failure.
- Old tapes: Many individuals who were told that they were stupid or incapable as children, grow up believing this on a very deep level. When they mess up, even slightly as adults, these old feelings are triggered, and they feel stupid once again.
- To avoid anxiety: Admitting mistakes to ourselves often creates anxiety and guilt. If we can rationalize our behavior and place the blame on someone else, we can escape the anxiety and guilt associated with our action.
- Drive to be perfect: This goes back to all or none thinking. We can’t be perfect if we make a mistake. We must be perfect or we are flawed. (This type of thinking will leave you always feeling flawed.)
- Shame: Rather than viewing the behavior as flawed, a person who carries a lot of shame will view themselves as flawed.
Benefits to acknowledging and admitting simple mistakes
- Personal growth: People do not change what they won’t acknowledge.
- Model for children: Children need to know that their parents and teachers not only make mistakes, but are able to own them. This modeling will help children with their own accountability. Children are also far more likely to accept correction from adults who are able to recognize their own short-comings. Keep in mind that there are things that are appropriate to share with children and things that are harmful to disclose. Choose wisely.
- Effective leadership: Employees will be more open to correction and redirection from a manager who can acknowledge his or her own mistakes.
- Healthier relationships: It is really difficult to have a relationship with a person who can do no wrong.
Sometimes our ego gets in the way, and we may defend our actions at all costs. We may appease our ego while sacrificing true learning, self-growth, and healthy relationships. The next time that you are corrected, take a moment to examine the situation before completely dismissing it. It may be an opportunity for you to grow.
- Gazing in the Looking Glass without Self-punishment – Emotional Intelligence for Personal Growth Part VII (dare-to-dream.us)
- Mistakes – Ways to Embrace Mistakes as Life’s Lessons (divinetiminglifecoaching.wordpress.com)
- 3 Mistakes That Invite Anxiety to Undermine Your Performance (psychologytoday.com)
- Mistakes – Our Noose and Learning Tool? (gwendolynndedanaan.wordpress.com)
- How to learn from your mistakes (mylittleblackpen.wordpress.com)
- Get Ready to Fail (blogs.hbr.org)
- Shame and Guilt: Masters of Disguise (lizawrites.wordpress.com)
- Failure is must once in a life (mylittleblackpen.wordpress.com)
- 10 Mistakes Unhappy People Make (jabelah.wordpress.com)
- Admitting Mistakes (continuations.com)
- 12 Things Successful People Do Differently (10bellevue.blogspot.com)
- Oprah admits mistakes in launch of OWN (respectedlife.org)