The Better Me Project—Day 10
Every once in awhile, I make a mistake. Yes, yes…I know this is unfathomable. How could I possibly? But believe it or not, I, like every other human, makes mistakes. Sometimes they’re minuscule errors that half the people I know wouldn’t even notice, such as spelling a word wrong or using incorrect grammar. Other times my blunders include running over the curb in the driveway, burning dinner, and putting the wrong email address in for my concert ticket confirmation. I’ve made wrong turns and gotten us lost, and I’ve sworn up and down that I knew the answer to something and have been wrong. And still other times I make huge a$$ boo-boos like rear-ending a guy at a stop sign because I was changing the radio station or making a giant hole in the wall with a sledge hammer because I got mad at hubby. The point is, I’ve messed up.
The most difficult part of messing up is often owning up to it, saying, “Oh yeah, I screwed up. My bad.” For some reason when we make a mistake, it seems our initial instinct is to cover it up like kitty litter. I know that I have, in the past, made excuses for my mistakes. Or other times, it’s convenient to point fingers and try to put the blame on someone else. I wouldn’t have gotten the speeding ticket if we weren’t in a rush because the kids were taking so long to get out of the house and then were fighting in the back seat.
I mean, a lot of times, the actions of other people do lead to my mistakes (likewise, my actions may lead to someone else’s mistakes). Ultimately, the fault is mine and I have to own it. By admitting my mistakes, by saying Yes, I’m human and I f’d up, it gives me the opportunity to learn from the mistake. After all, the mistake has still been made whether I own up to it or not, so I might as well get something out of it, right? Turn lemons into lemonade?
Plus, most of us (myself included), need to learn to accept constructive criticism with grace. When other people criticize me, my immediate reflex is to get defensive. But why? I already know I’ve made a mistake or I could stand to do something better than I have—why not accept the advice of someone who might know more and can help me do better? Like when hubby wants to show me how to cook something, I usually get annoyed and ignore him and flop around the kitchen muttering “Who does he think he is?” under my breath. But why do I do this? I know I’m not a master chef (he isn’t either, but he definitely knows more than I do). Why can’t I accept his help with a smile instead of getting cranky and accusing him of treating me like a child?
Maybe it’s because if we admit that we’re wrong, that someone else knows better or can do something better than we can, we feel inferior. I know I’m not inferior to hubby, but my cooking skills may be (okay, they definitely are). And so what? There’s plenty of things that I’m good at. Heck, there’s plenty of things that I’m great at. I can’t be good at everything, but I can certainly learn from my mistakes in order to be better at those things.
Okay, so here it goes. Deep breath…Day 10—I will admit that I don’t know how to cook or drive as well as hubby does, and I will listen to his advice on which pots to use for which dish and how to read a map.
*By constructive criticism, I mean advice that will help make me better—don’t be mistaken—I’m not taking any negative, pointless insults lying down. And neither should you. This isn’t about letting people hurt me and walk all over me. After all, I am a BADASS.