The 400th entry to Better Zombie had the wrong URL for over 12 hours… oops! That’s a trivial mistake. One problem I had growing up – maybe we all did – was the fight toward perfection through never acknowledging your mistakes. It’s always someone/something else’s fault I didn’t get that good grade. That irrational irresponsibility leads to subconscious suffering. Rather than admitting a problem to overcome it, if you avoid confronting the problem, you grow to fear it!
There’s a trick to this, you see.
Let’s say I hadn’t admitted that mistake. It’s easy enough just to fix it and forget it. We do minor mistakes all the time. When I admit mistakes like these, both here and professionally, it reroutes the blame impulse into the fix impulse. Here, it’s easy: fix the URL!
How about bigger examples?
I was part of an upgrade once that impacted a department. That department said a certain variable wasn’t working. There was a string of emails sent out looking for resolution. I owned up to my role in the upgrade, and as it turns out, my piece was unrelated.
What if I hadn’t said anything?
Everyone on my team said I didn’t need to say anything. It wasn’t my responsibility or my sword to fall on. I provided more information by throwing my name out. One less area to search. When it turned out that the fault wasn’t mine, it helped build my credibility.
Along with developing my humility.
Professionally, I can seem arrogant, only because I have usually double- or quadruple-checked the important things. That probably bleeds into my writing and elements of my personal life I don’t share online. So getting the occasional bite from mistakes can help me out.
Just don’t go too far in either direction.
We all make mistakes. I find that by admitting them openly, I can find an inner peace with that situation. By admitting “I thought she was guiding me along, I didn’t intend to make her uncomfortable,” I can put down the baggage that haunts me through my sunny moments.
It doesn’t have to be so public.
You don’t need to make a show of it. Maybe you just need to fully admit your mistakes to yourself so you can move on from them. One sign of self-confidence is realizing that you’ve made a mistake, correcting it, then doing what you can to prevent it from happening again.
Let’s say a new person meets me.
They won’t know off-hand all of the mistakes I’ve done or all the people I’ve hurt until I start telling them. This can be subconscious, in terms of how I act in certain situations, as well as consciously what I tell them. The more I know about myself and my mistakes, the less they’re on display.
Sure, I let my mistakes define me.
They’ve enabled me to be better.
I’m not tied to those mistakes.
None were so terrible to be unforgivable.
So let’s not lose our heads over even big mistakes.
Quotes:  This is a memory that haunts me even 6 years later and I’m not sure why.
Inspirations: March is my sobriety month and it’s all about coming to terms with my mistakes.
Picture: A photo of some action figures where quality control was subjective. The head was rattling around invisibly on the bottom of the package.