Expecting and Accepting Mistakes (Part 2)

“Life doesn’t get easier or more forgiving; we get stronger and more resilient.”  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

Acceptance.  We crave it. We thrive in environments that are accepting.  How consistently do we give ourselves the gift of acceptance?  Do we accept others? In a culture that embraces acceptance, there is greater trust, kindness, forgiveness, and joy. Acceptance fosters compassion and respect, two of our core values at Roycemore.  

When we are accepting of ourselves, we are less defensive and enjoy greater emotional health.  When we are accepting of others, it brings us closer together in our shared humanity. Accepting mistakes aids in the recognition that we are one step closer to figuring out a solution.  We can celebrate the steps along the way to greater learning and boldly open pathways toward new discoveries.

Forgiving or accepting mistakes doesn’t mean that you don’t hold others accountable.  You can have an organization that expects the best from its people and has high standards while also accepting mistakes and being forgiving.  Without such acceptance, fear and distrust abound. Where there is fear and distrust there will likely be even more mistakes because of what people didn’t do rather than what they did.  It’s immobilizing and crippling. We become frozen with fear of doing something wrong. Accepting mistakes diminishes the tendency to blame because you finally accept that you can’t change the past, you only have control over the present.  It doesn’t mean that you don’t work to make things better, rather it allows you to be realistic about what the current state of affairs is, to be honest and truthful, and to set forth a path for improvement.

When children are living in environments that don’t accept mistakes, they will tend toward perfectionism, trying to get things right to earn the love of their parents or teachers.  They’ll fear that they can never be good enough in the eyes of the adults around them. Ironically, the lack of acceptance of mistakes will cause more mistakes, mistakes of not trying new things and not taking appropriate risks which are essential to learning.  Accepting mistakes as they come encourages our children to be more courageous, to take ownership of their learning process and to build resilience. They know they are in a safe environment where they are loved and valued for the unique and special contributions that only they can bring to the world.  They will step confidently forward to discover all that is possible within them.

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