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The Human Factor

“The greatest mistake is to be afraid of making one.”

One of the attributes of being a person is to know that it’s all right to be human. To be the greatest achiever of all time is to be a fine human being. This means at some time or another one must err. Making a mistake is not the end of the world. It’s important to know that all people make mistakes one time or another. Anyone can serve as a model for this. Here is an example from my own life.

I once made a comment to a friend regarding another acquaintance. I thought nothing of it and forgot that I had even made the statement. A while later I was asked by my acquaintance if I had made such comment. At first I denied it not thinking too much and then later that day I realized yes indeed I had made the comment. I realized I had made a mistake.

After some consideration I called my friend and corrected the error I had made. I took full responsibility for my words and even though I felt disappointed in myself I knew that I was doing what was right by me. By owning up to my mistake I avoided more problems in my friendship. Today I still have that friendship in my life. I can hold my head proud knowing that I told the truth and I have nothing to fear or regret.

Like many people, I used to defend my mistakes, make up stories to protect my point of view, avoid the subject and do all I could to refuse the possibility that I had made a mistake. My ego would not allow me to say I was wrong.

Some people will put up great arguments to prove they were right, even when all their points are proven wrong they will still not accept that they were wrong. This attitude can lead the tragic consequences. I have learned it’s far simpler to admit your mistakes without defending them.

You save lots of energy and grief by just accepting your err. What a relief it is when you let go of the burden of perfection! You and I are not immune to making mistakes, and when we admit our humanity people customarily understand. It’s only when we persist in our wrong doing that we provoke anger and misunderstandings.

Below are some tips to help manage your admission of mistakes:

* Own up to your Mistake
When you know in your heart you have made a mistake, admit that you were wrong as soon as you can. Don’t waste time, just do it. The quicker you do it and the less you fight it, the better things will go.

* Make Amends
Apologize to the person and accept responsibility for your mistake. If the person can’t accept the fact that you made a mistake and is still upset, that is their problem not yours. There is nothing you can do about it after the fact!

* Accept Responsibility
Many people find it hard to admit they’re wrong because it makes them doubt their self worth, and no one likes to be a failure. But as adults we must admit that we make mistakes. When we accept responsibility for our failures we allow others to be human and own up to their part in all situations. We have to accept responsibility for our failures.

* Be Sincere
Forget your ego needs and look at the more important action of clearing up a situation. Just saying the words, “I am wrong” alone is not enough sometimes to take responsibility. If there is action needed to correct the situation make sure you take them. To make your apology meaningful is to be sincere by doing what can be done to rectify the situation. Being sincere in your apology means allowing yourself to be weak and admitting that you make mistakes. Although this may be hard to do for some people, it makes a world of a difference in all your relationships.

* Request Forgiveness
Taking responsibility also means having the courage to ask for forgiveness. By asking for forgiveness you are letting your friends and loved one know that you care. It also allows others to see that you are sincerely sorry for what you have done.

Requesting forgiveness also shows that you are willing to put the future of the relationship in the hands of the offended person. You are leaving the final decision up to your friend to forgive you. Requesting forgiveness is not easy. It can leave us vulnerable to rejection. Remember forgiveness does not mean you have failed but that you accept the human factor in you.

Ultimately asking for forgiveness does not mean you will get it. Forgiveness is a choice the offended party is supposed to make. If you are being sincere you cannot demand to be forgiven. Never treat forgiveness lightly; it is a gift to be cherished when it is given. The act of forgiveness is hard on both individuals involved.

* Learn From Your Mistake
Don’t repeat your mistakes. Repeating mistakes just shows people that you didn’t get it the first time and they won’t respect you for being sincere. Even if you truly are sorry, it is very hard to prove when you keep doing the same thing over and over. Learn from your mistakes. Use each mistake you make as a learning experience.

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