DEALING with EGO and MISTAKES By Gracious Akintayo
Understanding the nature of ego requires the change for the better. One of the major hindrances to change bad behaviours and habits in life is ego. Ego is a barrier to get things done right.
Ironically, we can be our own worst enemy and the quicksand that stunts our progress. We can be the dragging force that makes goals feel unachievable. We can also recognize this and plan for positive progress.
Ego makes us believe we are smart, eloquent and all-round the best. When we make a mistake, it makes us resort to excuses, explanations and playing dumb. As we grow, we learn that in life, mistakes are inevitable and we develop the value of teachable spirit through mistakes.
When we make a mistake and someone points it out, it sets off feelings of guilt and regret and sometimes, shame. After these, we feel anger and play the offensive. Believing we are infallible, after all, ‘to err is human’ and rather than pursuing correction, we manifest insecurity and defensive behaviour that inspires deceitful (hypocrisy) lifestyle.
Ego is focused on self and makes us forget the bigger picture. But when focusing on the bigger picture, ego driven feelings become irrelevant and trivial. Our mindset then forgets the existence of ego.
Humanly, we make mistakes, because it is inevitable. When we make mistakes and openly accept our mistakes, it becomes readiness to learn and make corrections with a decision to kill ego, be humble, avoid repetition and become great in life.
Admitting to mistakes can be difficult for our ego. Also refusal to own up boosts the ego and can result in psychological issues and ruined relationships. But, taking responsibility is willingness to express human vulnerability and transparency that brings trust, credibility, leadership and respect.
People are not willing to accept their mistakes because of ego. They are amazingly good and busy in blaming others for their failures and giving ‘good’ excuses to why…. So if in such a blame-loving world, someone openly accepts his mistake and without excuses as to why, it should not be seen as ordinary or derogatory. A person who has ego cannot do that.
Because we are not perfect in life, sometimes things happen and we make mistakes. Admitting our mistakes and taking responsibility for them breaks our ego. Reality makes us a better person and allows us to make better decisions with positive impact. Arguing with or blaming others (trying to dodge our mistakes) will only make it worse. It is better to take responsibility for our mistakes and clear the air to move on.
We have to swallow our pride and simply say “I was wrong,” with a brief explanation without making excuses. If our mistakes had a negative impact on others, let us acknowledge it and listen to their reactions. Don’t attempt to give excuses or be defensive to justify and explain yourself. Always acknowledge your mistake with confidence and be apologetic with zeal.
Once we recognize and admit to our mistakes, we can work on them to make them better. We only owe the explanation of what we’re doing to remedy the mistakes, including its substantive impacts (money, time, processes) and relational impacts (feelings, reputation, trust) to people.
It is good to tell those affected by our mistakes what we have learned about ourselves and what we are going to do differently in the future.
Mistakes have no master and it happens from everyone but not everyone accepts their mistakes. When ego takes over someone’s mind, they don’t acknowledge and admit their wrong doings and that prevents their chance of improvement and development in life.
If truly we want to learn and develop in life, we must free our mind from being superior over others. The feeling of superiority creates an ego that denies someone from accepting their mistakes. When you make a mistake and don’t acknowledge your mistakes, you will be limited to where you are and when limited, you hinder your personal growth. But, when you accept your mistakes, you make yourself open to become a better version of yourself.
Ego is important, it contributes to our feelings of self-importance and self-awareness. However, when ego gets over our way of life, it dominates and limits our sense of value. More understanding is required to help sharpen and tame destructive ego.