I recently saw this quote by Maya Angelou. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” It resonated with me because I’ve made some mistakes recently. Really big, really bad mistakes. Most of the time my initial reaction to realizing I’ve screwed up is to completely and utterly berate myself. I tell myself how horrible I am, how undeserving I am, how worthless I am because all I ever do is screw up. Sometimes I tell myself I should just up and leave because everyone would be better off without me. But time usually gives me perspective where eventually I see that those things aren’t true. I see that beating myself up, hating myself, trying to punish myself, aren’t helpful solutions.
We’re all human. We all make mistakes. I think one of the greatest qualities a person can have is the ability to see their mistakes and admit their wrongdoings. That doesn’t mean eternally beating ourselves up over it. I think it means recognizing that we’re not perfect, feeling necessary guilt for a time and saying sorry when needed. Then we learn, grow and try to do better.
I am not a quitter, and all those initial negative thoughts are what someone who gives up thinks and does. But I don’t believe in giving up. I believe in getting back up when I’ve fallen and trying again. Because I’m human and imperfect I know I’ll fall again. I know I’ll make mistakes and maybe other people will hold it against me forever, but I can’t. I won’t. I wouldn’t want others to do that. I would want others to pick themselves up and try again. That’s what I have to do. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I think we all should do. It’s not easy, and it may feel like we’re crawling along a rough, dirty path to get where we want to be, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it to give ourselves credit, to be positive and allow ourselves to learn from our mistakes, grow and do better.