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It is human nature to avoid admitting our mistakes. We don’t want to be wrong. The problem is that when we don’t admit our mistakes, we can’t move on from them.

How many people do you know who are in unhappy marriages because they don’t want to admit that they made a mistake when choosing their spouse? How many folks stay in unsatisfying jobs for years because they don’t want to admit that they chose the wrong job (or the wrong career)? We’d rather live with our mistakes than admit that we are wrong.

However, we pay a high price when we choose to live with our mistakes. We spend years of our lives being unhappy for no good reason. Life is short, and those are years that we cannot get back.

How do you know that you’ve made a bad life choice? One indicator is that things get worse, instead of better, with each passing year. I recently told my husband that I know that we have a good marriage because our relationship continually improves. With every year, we become more of a team. Our loyalty to one another increases. We keep getting better at supporting each other as we work toward our goals.

In a bad marriage, things get worse with each passing year. Couples become more annoyed with each other. Each spouse starts feeling like the marriage is holding them back in life. The marriage starts feeling like a burden instead of a blessing.

The same holds true for jobs. In a good job, as you feel more comfortable in your position, you enjoy your work even more. You develop professional relationships which inspire you to improve. And you feel good about your job because your years of experience allow you to do it well.

In a bad job (or career), you dread going to work in the morning. You don’t find satisfaction from your work, even if you do it well. Small, normal irritations become big problems.

Committing to a bad choice, whether it be a marriage, job or otherwise, is not a sign that you are a loyal person. It is a sign that you are a fearful person. When you refuse to move on from a bad choice, that shows that you are afraid to admit that you were wrong. It shows that you are afraid of change. And it shows that you don’t trust God enough to let Him bring something better into your life.

We aren’t meant to live with our bad choices. We are meant to learn from them. We are meant to grow from them in wisdom and judgment. If we simply sit down and refuse to move on from our mistakes, we don’t increase our wisdom. We only increase our misery.

It is hard on our egos to admit that we’ve made a mistake. I once took a job with a non-profit which made no sense for me. My skills didn’t meet their needs. But I somehow thought that I could make the job work. I stayed at the job for four years and grew increasingly miserable. But I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to admit my mistake and simply move on.

Because I was afraid to admit my mistake, I missed out on four years during which I could have been at a job in which I really thrived. Those are four lost years that I cannot get back.

One of my favorite quotes is from the Sound of Music. During the movie, the head of the nuns tells Maria, “Whenever God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window.” And that is how we need to look at our mistakes. We don’t need to fear leaving our mistakes behind us. We don’t need to fear change. When we let our mistakes go, that allows something better to take their place.

It takes humility to admit our mistakes and move on. We have to admit to ourselves and to the world that we are not perfect people. We should not be afraid to do so. Do you know anyone who hasn’t made a mistake? Do you know anyone with the perfect marriage, job or life? I don’t.

What I have observed, however, is that people who are able to admit their mistakes with humility and good humor are happy. They are able to move on from their mistakes with ease. Their lives improve with each passing year because they aren’t choosing to live with their mistakes.

Are you living with a mistake that you made in the past? Ask yourself, “Why am I so committed to living with this mistake today? Does my doing so serve any purpose?” Life is short, and we all make mistakes. The key is to let them go and move on.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels)

Email: yourmorningcupofinspiration@gmail.com

Books: “The Secrets to Success for the Working Mother” by Meerabelle Dey (https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Success-Working-Mother/dp/1546329544 )