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  • Writer's pictureAmber

Owning my failings

Why saying 'yes, I got it wrong' is gradually replacing defensiveness

Lately I'm more aware than usual of my limitations and the epic fails I'm capable of when I try to exceed them. Beyond that, the things I get wrong even when I'm not over stretched - the things I falter at because I'm just not organised, or I'm forgetful, or I'm selfish. Much as I love to give an excuse or defend myself, I'm gradually realising that it's better just to own up.

I say gradually because, let's be honest, admitting to getting something wrong is not pleasant. Getting things wrong was probably my biggest fear as a child. I really needed to be right, and clever, and good. Confronted with evidence that I wasn't these things, I would crumble. And twenty years later I find myself simultaneously attempting to unlearn that reaction while still trying to be right and clever and good. Yeah, I know. It's exhausting.

Frankly, my life at present is an ongoing blow to the ego. For every thing I succeed in I'm finding another where I've dropped the ball: unwritten letters that I promised a month ago, a garden overflowing with weeds, friends put off from visiting while I try to tidy my post-move house (and fail, because I'm too busy doing other things). I seem incapable of maintaining all but a handful of friendships as my hours disappear in an endless cycle of work, more work, self-imposed busyness and procrastination.

Why am I sharing this? Well, it's not a plea for reassurance or forgiveness. It's just reality, but a reality I need to acknowledge before I can change. And part of that is being willing to say to the people affected by my failings, 'yes, that's my fault; I'm sorry,' rather than blowing them off with all the reasons why I'm so busy. In owning my failings rather than deflecting them, I recognise that I may have caused hurt. I remind myself that my action (or inaction) has an impact on more people than just me. And it's just honest.

The fact is I found the time to watch an entire season of Riverdale within the space of a week, so clearly I'm not actually so overrun that I can't do other things. It's just I let the things I do have to do get so on top of me mentally that I fail to give proper attention to the rest of life. And if I'm not writing every tiny obligation/wish/plan down, as often as not I'm going to forget it! That's definitely something I want to change, and change starts with seeing the problem.

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