We all know people who blame their failures on everything but themselves. X happened because of Y, they say, or it wasn't my fault. But there are some reasons some people may have difficulty in owning up to their mistakes.
Starting from a young age, we establish how we view ourselves. When we make a mistake, it challenges our self-concept, resulting in mental discomfort and tension, or cognitive dissonance -- in real life terms, mistakes sting our ego.
Regardless of what form self-justification takes, it's designed to keep your self-esteem intact by reducing your responsibility for the mistake or failure. That's why taking ownership of our mistakes and shortcomings requires courage.
While we are naturally inclined to shield our egos from blame when we make mistakes, too much self-justification can harm your relationships and your professional life. Mistakes are inevitable aspects of life that help us grow, and grow up.
Here are the benefits of owning up to your mistakes.
You make better decisions and learn from your mistakes for next time
Self-justifications distort reality. So when you own up to your mistakes, you are more inclined to be able to make better decisions for next time. Use your mistakes as stepping stones to getting stronger and moving ahead.
It keeps little problems from turning into big ones
If you recognize that you have made a mistake, you can do your best to make it right before the problem escalates. I am the queen of procrastination, and it comes back to bite me in the butt when I push tasks off for too long.
Others respect you more when you admit that you were wrong
When you acknowledge your mistakes and say you're sorry, and take measures to correct them, others will respect you more for it. Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone has the strength to apologize. It ends up strengthening your relationships!
You take more responsibility for your life
When you admit that you made a mistake, you are taking back the control. For better or for worse, that mistake happened because of something that you did, instead of having something happen to you.
Personally, I have recently discovered that I overwhelm myself with things to do to the point that I don't actually accomplish anything at all. Now that I recognize this habit of mine, I make an effort to only bite of what I can chew, and complete tasks to the best of my ability. I am owning my mistakes that I have made by procrastinating, and doing too much and learning how to work more efficiently.
So how do you go about taking ownership of your mistakes?