Mistakes are the one thing we all dread making for the fear of failure and/or ridicule. And having made one, we immediately drown ourselves in shame, guilt and self-criticism as well as a whole bunch of negative emotions, which don’t help us in any way.
Yet, truth be told, there isn’t a single person in the entire human population who can honestly say that he/she has not made a single mistake throughout their lives.
We all seem to desperately struggle for perfection with no scope for errors. The hilarious part is that we seek perfection in a non-perfect world, beginning with ourselves.
Instead of accepting that we are human and, therefore, flawed we seem to believe that we are somehow, not permitted to err.
It was Alexander Pope who said, “To err is human, to forgive divine”. Perhaps it’s time we made the forgiveness part human too, rather than berating ourselves for mistakes made for the rest of our lives.
Like it or not, we are fallible beings, as one of the most influential psychologists of the century, Dr Albert Ellis always said. We are prone to making errors and are imperfect, considering we are a heady concoction of negatives, positives and neutrals. That is our DNA. Making blunders, big and small, are a part and parcel of our nature and life. And despite making them, life and the world do go on.
So, instead of dreading them it’s far healthier to simply and honestly accept our mistakes without making a big deal of them. Besides, they do show that at least we tried. And that’s definitely better than doing nothing!
Sure, some mistakes can cost us dearly, however, if we are ready to bear the consequences and figure out how they can be rectified, not only will we be able to move on but also be wiser, having learnt from the experience. And ‘learning’, is all about trial and error.
So, no matter which role we play in life – as children, parents, working professionals, friends, family members etc. it’s important to know that in the things we do and relationships we struggle to maintain, mistakes are bound to be made. Simply treat them as lessons to be learnt from and move on.
Initially, we may very well have to deal with a bit of regret. However, that too, in time, we will learn to deal with especially if we accept that neither life nor our own selves are perfect and, well, shit happens. It’s just a matter of cleaning it up and moving on.