Admitting to mistakes I’m all for. We’ve built cultures that are so aggressive, negative and punitive that we’ve discouraged people from being honest. So yes, admit your mistakes and, in doing so, own them and learn from them.
All that said, if we think we can stop people from exaggerating, embellishing or even downright lying about us—then we need to reconsider. We have virtually no control over the actions of others and if there’s anything egos thrive on, it’s gossip.
Egos feel it’s far better sitting still and judging other people’s behaviour, rather than making efforts to influence and direct their own. So let’s be clear: people will say things about us that aren’t true.
They’ll say them for reasons that have nothing to do with us and everything to do with them. They’ll say them because they don’t want to take responsibility, or they don’t want to be seen in a bad light, or they don’t want us to be seen in a good light.
We can’t spend our lives worrying about these inevitabilities. There will always be people who, by nature, take a negative view. But that reality lives in their heads and no one else’s. Even if a million people hate us, they hate us in a million unique ways.
Worrying about the judgments of others is like worrying about rain or wind. It’s going to happen regardless, so why invest so much time pretending we can do anything about that?
We’re far better off to focus on building our Self and our sense of the world, than we are in defending ourselves against hollow accusations that only ever lived in the consciousness of someone for as long as they thought that thought.
We gain nothing by attempting to battle the temporary and ephemeral thoughts of those who would judge us. But by positively focusing on ourselves, we can expand our very being. And in the end, there’s no greater victory than that.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.