To err is human

January 23, 2009 at 10:15 am 2 comments

…but who wants to make mistakes? Not me! I want to be perfect! Well, I’m out of luck as far as that goes. I’ve been at the new job for nearly 5 months already, and I still don’t know everything. (Will I ever?!) Because I don’t know everything and anticipate everything, I am prone to make mistakes. They are generally little, non earth-shattering mistakes, but they are mistakes nonetheless.

On the way home after a short night (night shift), a couple of fresh mistakes as well as less-than-optimal handling of a situation were in my thoughts. Guess what I did? I told myself it’s normal to make mistakes and that’s part of the process. There is no need to take them home with me and fret or obsess for the rest of the day. I’m learning through the mistakes, learning to communicate better — some mistakes occur by forgetting to pass on certain information. It’s similar to the guy driving in front of me who doesn’t signal before he turns, because he assumes I can read his mind. I can’t! Nor can my colleagues know what happened at work and what needs to be done if I don’t give them accurate information.

I’m not constantly making mistakes. It’s more little things that could use improvement for optimal functioning. But this week I did a good one. Ouch! Thank you, Higher Power! I am learning to accept what I did, to explain it without trying to make it sound better than it is, and to simply feel and let go of that inner tension which results. Yes, I made a mistake and I will face any consequences. But that doesn’t mean I’m a bad person. Nor does it mean that I’m incompetent. And of course it was not made intentionally.

Driving home, I realized that I haven’t really learned how to deal with such situations appropriately, but that they are part of growing up. I learned to try to deny it, to pretend it didn’t happen, or to pretend I didn’t know what I did. Or if there was something I didn’t understand or felt unsure of, I would avoid it the best I could. A very wishy-washy event, if you ask me!

In any case, I am grateful for this job for this reason as well. It is teaching me that I can’t know and do everything perfectly, nor is it expected of me. It is teaching me to ask questions, to let down the barrier of pride and simply be straight out, be open to the situation at hand. This morning I even shared some of my shortcomings with a colleague. By sharing my insight, I let her know that I am aware, working on those shortcomings, and open to suggestions for improvement. At work it is only expected that I be honest, not perfect. Oh, and of course it is expected that I do my best!

Looked at from a different perspective, I’m actually quite pleased with how I’ve adjusted. I’ve learned a lot, have developed some sense of routine, understand the job better and feel increasingly competent. I recognize my weaknesses and resolve to work on them, but am also happy at the little successes that occur along the way. It is satisfying at the end of the shift to review things and see what I got done — knowing I did most of it right.

By the way. There’s a second part to this saying, remember? To forgive is divine. Not only that we forgive others or they us, but that we also forgive ourselves. (Personally, I find it much easier to forgive others.) When I truly forgive myself, I also accept myself exactly the way I am. When I do that, I feel peaceful, generous and loving. It is truly amazing.

Entry filed under: daily challenges, going back to work. Tags: , , , , , , , .

A handful of beans Martha, home alone

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lola Snow  |  January 29, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    I love your posts, they are so calming and inspiring. I always come away feeling a little more refreshed and secure.

    Lola x

    • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  January 30, 2009 at 2:08 pm

      I’m glad to hear that. 🙂 By the way, I enjoy your posts as well. They often make me smile. I love your sense of humor!


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