Welcome to planet earth. Scientists tell us that even in the most controlled environment, we are going to have 3% human error. Yet, we as humans seem to expect perfection. This makes or some painful situations.
This scientific fact means that even when we are trying our hardest, we are going to mess up 3% of the time. When you factor in sickness, inattention and plain ‘ole stupidity, and your chances of messing up multiply.
So, since you live in skin, you can know that you won’t always get it right. What can you do to not be destroyed by your own mistakes?
1. Get over it. Most of us have an automatic response to error – we feel bad – some of us feel really bad. There is a sorrow that leads to repentance, the psalmist tells us, but then there is a sorrow that leads to wallowing in our own ick. Don’t do that. Give yourself permission to be human.
2. When appropriate, ask forgiveness or apologize. These aren’t the same. Ask for forgiveness if you really messed up someone – apologize when you took out their foot in a rush for the bus. Don’t wallow – just repair the relationship. Other people are too important for you to spend time flogging yourself. Focus on the other person instead of yourself.
3. Learn from it. Seriously. You aren’t perfect. Yet God doesn’t try to fix you. He lets you remain human. Maybe this is because our error tendencies are opportunities. Your mistakes are your opportunity to:
- learn about yourself
- learn what not to do
- improve your relationship with others.
Don’t you love people who are honest about their humanity? It makes them safe to be around because they aren’t trying to figure out how they are better than you. Be one of those people.
In the end, you really can be the person you want to be – you just have to decide… but that’s another post.
This post is an affirmation to you – mess up today. Learn from it, and you will be stronger, better and more interesting.