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 mis-takes, they are an opportunity to learn and do a re-take! In my point of view, mistakes are a natural part of growing and learning. The key is to learn, change and grow.


Every mis-take 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 mistake, 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 nicely. That kind of behavior is truly self-defeating and lacks compassion. I have learned to realize that mis-takes 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 mis-take, I am not really sure. I do know that I feel a shot of pain deep inside my being when I see him being hurtful to himself over a simple mis-take. 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 tolerance 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 definitely knows that we all make mistakes and it’s no big deal as long as we are learning.


The really 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 completely new to me each time without a preconceived notion. This practice allows me to be present, without judgement 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 past.


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 mis-takes, learn, grow and enjoy the journey. This is an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and grow as a result.



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