In the past we often had difficulty admitting to our mistakes. Time was often spent defending our position long after it was necessary. There was a misguided sense that if we were to admit we were wrong, that there was something inherently wrong with us.
Now we have come to a new understanding about our mistakes. Admitting errors in judgment was not an act of personal failure. When we were able to admit our errors, we opened ourselves up to the possibility of change and growth. By learning to become honest about ourselves, we could also acknowledge our positive traits and decisions as well. We even came to see the word mistake differently. No longer was it a pejorative for us. Rather, we saw it as a mis-take. A mis-take meant that we had assessed a situation and then took an action. Perhaps the result of our “take” on things was not as we expected. However there no so shame in what we had done. Reading a situation incorrectly did not mean that there was anything inherently wrong with us. We had just made a mistake and now we would move on and reassess the situation. It was just one of a myriad number of decisions which needed to be made in our lives.
Personal Reflection: Do I readily admit to my mis-takes?
First a word about mistakes. When we make a choice and something doesn’t work out for us, our reaction is often charged with self judgement. We might say, “I can’t believe how stupid I was”, or “like usual I’m wrong again”. It is far more advisable to have as neutral a response as possible. That is why when things go awry, we use the word mistake. For when you break the word mistake down into its component parts, we end up with a mis – take. That is, my take on things was incorrect. In the moment, I made the best decision I could, based on the information which was available to me at the time. There is no negative energy generated when we think this way.
Many of us used to avoid taking chances and trying new things because of those judgmental tapes about wrong choices. By doing so we probably ended up living lives that were very safe. The problem with this approach is that it is only by taking chances and experimenting with new course of action that growth is possible. When we played it safe, we also stayed stuck. Viewing our errors as mis – takes allows us the freedom to try new and varied things.
Personal Reflection: How do I view my mistakes?
It is so easy to get stuck in life. We make a decision, and somehow feel that it is irreversible. That pathway is often the result of fear. More specifically it is about our excessive concern about the judgements of others. What will my mother, father, spouse, boss, children et. al. think if I change my mind or my direction. That’s where are our Higher Power comes in. G-d has provided us with a myriad number of choices in life. Not only do we have choices at the moment of a decision, we have choices afterwards.
When we make the wrong decision we can say that we made a mistake. I like the word “mistake”. A mistake is just that. Our take on things missed the mark. With further information or a greater sense of empowerment we can choose to go in a different direction. Some may criticize our new direction and that’s ok too. The only person that needs to walk in our shoes is us. As long as we take responsibility for our changes in flight plan, we have the right to make those changes. Our Higher Power is the one who created u turns in the first place.
Personal Reflection: Do I need to make a u turn in any area of my life?
A healthy person takes joy in assisting others in their personal growth. As parents we swell with pride when our children surpass us. We do everything in our power to facilitate their success. In the program we often help others to grow thru sponsorship. We guide our sponsees through the steps or celebrate their anniversaries with them. We also need to exercise caution. It is all to easy to prevent growth by attempting to exercise too much control. When you begin to have a belief that says “I know better what’s good or right for you so you had better follow my advice”, a red flag should go up. You need to examine your motives. Is your advice coming from pride and ego, or do you really have the person’s best interests in mind.
The same holds true with our own personal growth. Because growth can produce fear and anxiety, sometimes we need to examine to see, if on some level we are sabotaging ourselves. Just like with others we need to see if we have our own best interests in mind.
Personal Reflection: To what degree do I help facilitate the growth of myself and others?