The other day I saw a sign posted in someone’s office that said, “Don’t Find Fault—Find a Solution.” That’s pretty good advice. And I think it is that attitude that separates winners from losers, in business, in relationships, and in life. Add a dose of humility and the ability to to laugh at yourself, and you will not only survive setbacks—you will thrive.
When loss, heartbreak, or mistakes happen, the only thing to do is fight on. Sometimes we get tangled up in someone else’s blunder through no fault of our own. A willingness to admit an error has been made or that a plan is not working is not a sign of weakness, but rather a display of wisdom and strength and the first step to repointing your direction toward success.
Those who are really good at this never miss a beat, correcting their steps quickly as they ascend the ladder or move on to a new, happier relationship. Others get stuck, searching for someone to blame or reliving the error over and over again with an unhealthy dose of self-pity. To the “others” of us, let’s agree to adopt a new approach—use the mistakes as building blocks to foster contentment in ourselves and encourage more fulfilling relationships.
While I am hesitant to admit it, as a self-acknowledged perfectionist, the struggle to make peace and move forward was not instinctive and required conscientious effort to cultivate. I must have been born this way, because even back in the second grade, Mrs. Beehler (my favorite teacher ever) wrote this comment on my report card: “Bea should not become so upset when she makes an error. I’ve tried to explain that we all make errors occasionally, and that we can often learn from these errors.” (Yes, I still have my report cards from kindergarten through high school and a few post-graduate scores, as well. These may come in handy should I ever write my memoirs or need proof of my academic prowess.)
“We all fall down, either because we have stumbled or because we were tripped. But for most of us, our mistakes are not the end of the world.”
Wise Mrs. Beehler! Her observances of me as a seven-year-old over-achiever were spot on. Thankfully, since that time, I matured and have made enough mistakes, landing on my feet and then succeeding, that I can embrace her philosophy wholeheartedly and testify to its accuracy.
To those who are prone to getting stuck in a relationship or find themselves often playing the blame game, ease up. No more wallowing around being miserable or beating yourself up over every little thing that doesn’t go your way. We all fall down, either because we stumbled or because we were tripped. You will drop the ball, and it will happen more than once. But for most of us, our mistakes are not the end of the world. Keep things in perspective so you can learn your lesson, push the reset button and move on, wiser and smarter than you were before.
I’m here if you need me. Until then, y’all behave.