Your Challenge Today:

Be big enough to admit your mistakes!

By Bernadette Kathryn, LMT, IHLC


A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes,

smart enough to profit from them,

and strong enough to correct them.

~ John C. Maxwell



Mistakes are what I like to think of as mistakes; they are an opportunity to learn and do a re-take! In my point of view, errors are a natural part of growing and learning. The key is to learn, change and grow.


Every mistake has consequences of some sort, big or small and that’s what we need to admit, we messed up, we made a mistake and whatever the negative result from the blunder, it’s our responsibility to own the mistake, learn and correct the error. I have at times beat myself up for a mistake, really gave myself a good ‘talking to’ and not so lovely. That kind of behavior is genuinely self-defeating and lacks compassion. I have learned to realize that mistakes are a natural part of life, especially when striving to learn something new.


I have a dear friend that is very, very hard on himself when he makes a mistake. He grits his teeth and gets very angry at himself for “being stupid.”  Perhaps he feels embarrassed by making a mistake; I am not sure. I do know that I feel a shot of pain deep in my being when I see him being hurtful to himself over a simple mistake. Then I remember a client, grown man that I work with and when he makes a mistake he looks at me, smiles and says “oopsie,” which I think is so cute. I imagine the difference between these two men is tolerance, self-acceptance, and children. The former does not have children and hasn’t learned the understanding and patience we need to have with children, therefore hasn’t been able to give himself acceptance for his mistakes. The latter is a father of three and knows that we all make mistakes and it’s no big deal as long as we are learning.


The tricky part of mistakes is when we are not learning or paying attention, and we keep repeating the same mistake over and over again like a broken record. This lack of awareness can be destructive to our lives, jobs and relationships ~ not to mention our physical health. The School of Practical Philosophy refers to this zombie state of being as “waking sleep’, the act of going through life without really living it. In practicing mindfulness, (MBSR – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) we are encouraged to look at our world with ‘beginners eyes’ and remember that each new moment is new. This exercise reminds me to see things with a fresh approach, to be open to what is new, what has changed, to look at each person and experience as though it were entirely new for me each time without a preconceived notion. This practice allows me to be present, without judgment and give myself each new day. Living with “I know” keeps us out of the present, and living in the past. It doesn’t allow us anything new, no surprises, no insights, no discoveries; it keeps us frozen in the judgments of the history.


The foundation courses at The School of Practical Philosophy guide students to open their awareness more fully and connect more deeply within themselves and thereby create the patience, tolerance, and self-acceptance to be able to laugh at one’s mistakes, learn, grow and enjoy the journey. This is an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow as a result.



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