Mistakes are Part of Being Human


Making mistakes can really suck, and realizing you’ve made a mistake can be quite the unpleasant realization. But I think admitting our mistakes to others can be one of the hardest things about the mistakes. This is a lesson I’ve learned very often this year, but especially this past week.

In no way am I a perfect person (surprising, I know), either professionally or personally. And admitting when/if I make mistakes it’s not one of my top, I would say probably, ten strengths. I really hate letting people down, and the guilt and disappointment letting others down can make me really unhealthy.

Being a first year professional I have made too many mistakes to count. It’s part of the job, and life, really. We will always make mistakes, even when we are truly doing what we think is right. I think the most important thing to realize about mistakes is that keeping them as secrets is not the best thing to do. Yes, we all have those quirky dances we do around our kitchen when we hear a good song, or the guilty pleasure tv show we watch, but I’m talking about the mistakes we make that can either have a small or big effect on a greater picture. This also opens the door for others to share their mistakes and know everyone is not perfect.

This week I missed a step in an ordinary process here in Housing. I have no excuse for it, and I will be the first person to admit that I messed up, but it was a tough 15 hours for me between the time I realized I had made a mistake, and the time I met with the Director of Housing to talk to her about it. My boss (the Director) is a woman who is very direct and to the point, and to put it lightly, I was a little terrified to go into this meeting. I didn’t know what the outcome would be, and I put so much pressure on myself for messing up that I could barely handle it. But as my coworker stated, it is always better to admit it, correct it, and move on.

While all ended well in this situation, or at least as well as it could have, it made me realize a few things about myself and my job as a Resident Director this past year. One of the things I realized was that when I had made myself too comfortable, and when I wasn’t really challenging myself anymore, I happened to slip up and make more mistakes. It’s hard to really explain, but I’m someone who has to keep going and keep challenging myself. I’ve realized I can be my best friend and my worst enemy, and when I challenge myself to do better, I’m usually more on top of my game.

So thus, I have vowed to myself that I will not become too comfortable, and will not let myself get lazy. I will let my inner drive and competition only better my work and myself. And I will admit to my mistakes as soon as I realize I have made them. While it may hurt my pride a little bit, it is what is best for my job, my students, and the institution I work for. No matter where I am or who I’m working with.

What challenges and drives you?

Katie Ericson
@katieericson

Student Affairs - the First Years

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1 comment :

  1. Love this post! I love how our post coincide as well!

    Recently I made a mistake in my housing position as well, such a simple, silly, mistake that had I taken more time to really think out the situation I wouldn't have made the same decision - I WAS too comfortable.

    What challenges and drives me - well me. I truly think this passion to do better comes from this belief within myself that I know I can do better, and I want to make myself happy. Also knowing I can help others find their own passion and inspire them to do better drives me. What challenges me are those I surround myself with. I am a firm believer in the quote "you are the company you keep" and "friends are the family you choose"!

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