• Dr. Leah Fortson

Everyone Makes Mistakes

Updated: May 25, 2019

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The only [person] who never makes a mistake is the [one] who never does anything.” As common as mistakes are – in that we all make them – why is it so difficult to acknowledge and admit our mistakes?

Mistakes are hard to acknowledge because many of us have created a cognitive link (in our minds) between mistakes and competence. On some level, many of us believe that our mistakes are reflective of a core issue in us. We go from a mistake, to feelings of incompetence, to the belief that we failed, to the conclusion that we’re not good enough. Some of us are quite comfortable with this snowball and we wallow in it. Others of us are so defended against our thoughts of incompetence we deny the mistake all together. I want to offer you another option, rather than wallowing in the lies of your incompetence or denying your propensity to make a mistake, try making a U-turn. Jesus said at the beginning of his earthly ministry, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven has come near.” To repent means to turn away from, to change our minds, our hearts, and ultimately our course. The idea of the U-turn is simple, when you notice that you are headed in the wrong direction, turn around, go the other way, make a U-turn.

U-turns are decisions, difficult decisions. The temptation is to submit to the course we’ve taken and we tell ourselves, “it’ll work out,” “this street will connect to another street that will get me to my destination.” Here’s my question for you – Are you sure? Because if not, you are potentially wasting time and energy in relationships that are unhealthy, on jobs that are unfulfilling, and in arguments that are unfruitful. When you notice you’ve made a wrong turn… make a U-turn.