I Screwed Up

One of the traits I most admire in my now-husband is his willingness to admit when he screws something up.

I shared this image with him a few months back:

His response? “I must be brilliant then because I always look foolish.”

Which he doesn’t. But he also doesn’t try to hide it when he does.

And I’m learning from him.


Some screw-ups don’t bother me. If I make a mistake at the board while teaching, I reward the student who catches it with candy. When my typos are uncovered, I’m thankful for the free editing. I share some of my own failures at skiing and biking and running and math with my students to encourage them to be willing to take risks and learn from their mistakes.

But those mistakes don’t harm anyone. They don’t make anyone disappointed in me. (At least I hope you’re not too disappointed in me for my typos. If you are, I’m sorry! I’m trying to wear my contacts more when I write and to wait at least until the first cup of coffee hits.)

Those are the threatening screw-ups. The ones I have trouble facing.

Because the impact could be threatening and the fallout immense.

But the reality is that everyone screws up and that the way you handle your errors says more about your character than any mistake ever could. Part of my ex’s destruction came from hiding his mistakes rather than coming clean.


So I’m learning. When I screwed up the other night just as my husband was coming home from a weekend away, my excitement at seeing him turned to dread at his response to my carelessness.

And the best part about a guy that admits his own mistakes? He accepts them in others. He immediately dismissed my confession and apology, engulfed me in his arms and said, “It’s great to be home.”

We are not our screw-ups.

We are how we respond.


In order to become wise, one has to first be willing to look foolish.

Be willing to take responsibility for your mistake.

Be willing to risk anger or disappointment.

Be willing to separate your worth from your error.

Be willing to ask for help.

And then be willing to learn.








Thank you for sharing!

5 thoughts on “I Screwed Up

  1. What a great message. And one I share with my students, and their parents, all the time. It’s ok to fail or struggle or make a mistake, it’s what you do with that mistake that makes all the difference and shows your true character. Thanks for the gentle reminder.

  2. Looking in the eye of failure will allow us to see success!!!! ~AmazinglyBrash~
    Admitting to your mistakes is good but assuring you don’t make the same mistake two is greatest. Will we walk into a wall with our eyes close? Yes but will we walk into the same wall the next time our eyes are closed is the measure of progress. Nice message, i enjoyed the read!!!!

  3. Well this post is talking to me, I did made so many mistakes and sometimes when people see me they always see my mistakes even if I try they always remind of them. I sometimes wish to be only with people who don’t know me or who will appreciate me.

    But the thing is I end up not carring about what think of me and say what will make me happy but that hurts them.

    Yes I do admit my mistakes, but what do I get after? I get downgraded.

  4. I think sometimes we forget to say goodbye to the ego. We learn how powerful it can be and how it is born in school, but we never learn when to subdue it for our own sake and the sake of others. Enjoyed this one. Thank you as always.

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