Owning our mistakes

Starting from a very young age, we develop an identity that is made up of our beliefs and how we view ourselves.

But where we fail to own or admit to our mistakes, we end up pointing the finger at ourselves, particularly as people have already seen through our behaviour. We shirk responsibility for the very things we’re supposed to be responsible for.

Perhaps it’s got something to do with their being less accountability in society and the fact that individually, we’ve become less accountable. Being less accountable means we’re less likely to own up to our mistakes, or how we really are. We never seem to be able to admit that we made a mistake and that perhaps we could have handled things better.

A lot of how we are stems from childhood. That everything we learn in childhood we take into our adult lives. When a child fails to say sorry it’s often because their bad behaviour is being ignored, or they’re not being brought to task by their parents.

As each generation passes, the disciplines that help us own up to how we are get watered down, but the more at peace we are, the more likely we are to own up to our responsibilities and admit that we make mistakes.

Life would certainly be much sweeter and easier if we did. There would be less room for the mandatory disagreements, fall outs and those inevitable pregnant pauses over the mistakes we make that we don’t own up to.


15 Oct, 2016

6 thoughts on “Owning our mistakes

  1. Yes, most people know how to own their mistakes, but I didn’t grow up in that kind of world. My parents were always making a lot of mistakes but chose to blame them on others so they wouldn’t have to own them.

    I don’t remember many times where they actually admitted they made a mistake and apologized for it; especially to us. We were the ones usually apologizing for things that weren’t our fault.

    They piled on a mountain of guilt, shame and remorse that wasn’t ours to begin with, but after a while you don’t know the difference. What kind of parent thinks it’s okay to do this to their own children?

    Just once it would have been nice to have our parents choose to own their mistake and apologize to us for it. Instead they always chose to blame each other for our dilemmas and never accepted responsibility for anything.

    They set a very bad example for us that I know I carried over into my life, even as much as I didn’t want to be anything like them. I’m well aware that I turned out to be just like both of them; and so much worse because I chose not to own my mistakes.

    I have always felt so much less than human without anyone telling me that I was actually very human and people do make mistakes. The most I can do now is work on being a better human being and to not keep making the same mistakes as I always have.

    1. I’d love to have a different answer for you, but no one is infallible. Parents make mistakes and those affected the most are the children as you say. Mistakes are fine as long as we own up to them. The problem is that mistakes are made and no one owns up. It’s like the mistakes weren’t made, but they were.

      As long as we learn and identify with our mistakes we will always benefit and be better people. It’s a shame your parents weren’t able to better role models for you or your siblings Randy.

      All you can do is change things for yourself. I agree with you, we must all try to work on being better human beings, so that we don’t go on to make the same mistakes as our parents.

      It’s important we learn from our parents’ mistakes. Other mistakes are fine; it shows we’re learning.

  2. They are our mistakes to make and learn by them. Seems pointless making mistakes and not owning and learning by them, otherwise we’ll make it over again.

    As adults isn’t that what we should be teaching our children too; but first we have to learn it ourselves.

    1. Yes, I quite agree. We must own and learn by our mistakes for ourselves before our children will can or will learn. If we fail, our children will fail.

  3. I never had a problem owning up to my mistakes. I was too honest to be a coward and I didn’t care much about embarrassment; I just wanted to atone.

    1. Your response is a breath of fresh air Tim. Can we really be too honest? Honest is honest; the best way to be. It’s the universal way.

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