The WordPress topic of the day is “Why is it hard to admit a mistake?”
Interesting question! I can approach this from several angles – professional, personal or spiritual. Where to start?
Briefly, no one wants to admit a mistake professionally. Mistakes in my line of work can be costly in terms of money and (company) reputation. I also value my own reputation. Being up front and admitting a mistake can actually keep a solid reputation intact. Hard as it is to admit a mistake, in the long run this serves everyone best.
This brings me to the next idea. Why is it hard? Well, making a mistake, when it’s “a big one” can equate with the notion of failure. Who wants to admit that they failed and, maybe, caused disappointment? Who wants to leave themselves wide open for possible scrutiny?
I’ve had a sudden thought about recent stories in the news where lives have been ruined and people may be brought to justice because no one admitted they made a mistake…hmmm…I’m not sure where to take that thought, but it makes me pause. Many times we don’t understand the long-term ramifications when we make a mistake, and when we don’t admit it.
So what to do? I was raised in a rather strict religious tradition. We grew up with the teaching that some mistakes are sinful. Can you think of this from a child’s point of view? Who want to be known as a sinner? We can be forgiven, but we must admit our mistakes. Now, as an adult, I have a better understanding of this. There can be freedom and forgiveness in terms of my own relationship with God. On a personal level freedom and forgiveness can occur when the ones who hear the admission respond with love, understanding and an open heart.
This topic just started a brief but interesting dialogue with my husband. We spoke of what it’s like to admit our mistakes to one another. Neither of us wants to disappoint or hurt the other. We also trust each other, and we know we’ll work through the ups and downs that life brings us. We’ve also learned that, once “the crisis” has passed, a sense of humor can go a long way when someone admits a mistake!
My husband mentioned how he experienced relationships in the past where the admission of a mistake was met with hostility. That statement grounds me. I know I’ve experienced the same. I can probably write an entire post on that statement. It was a good perspective that I hadn’t considered.
This question makes me look at myself. How do I respond when someone admits to me they made a mistake? Am I willing to practice what I preach? Hmmm…I can see that this question once again gives me pause. I am hopeful but, as the topic indicates, this admission is not always easy!