I'm Trying to Be a Better Person, but I Still Have the Right to Mess Up

When you try to change something in your life, those around you don't always make it easy for you. Thus, you need to remember that, while you're improving in many areas, you still have the right to mess up, pull yourself together, and try again.
I'm Trying to Be a Better Person, but I Still Have the Right to Mess Up

Last update: 12 January, 2021

When you embark on a personal growth journey, you need to remember that it’s a process. Changes won’t happen overnight. You still have the right to mess up.

To get results, you’ll need to be persistent and disciplined. However, you probably hope that your loved ones will help and support you along the way.

For this reason, it’s easy to feel angry and disappointed when those people seem to take advantage of any setback to belittle your efforts. Some people seem to forget that, even when you’re trying to be a better person, you still have the right to mess up.

That’s why it’s essential for you to be aware that you have to be your main engine of change. If you wait for approval, recognition, and support from those around you, then you’ll like give up before you reach your goal.

You must change by yourself and for yourself. You need to become your own personal coach and facilitator. However, it’s a good idea to ask yourself why others might want to hold you back and how you should cope if they do.

A sad woman with the right to mess up.

When others forget that you have the right to mess up

You’ve probably found yourself in different situations that reflect everything we’ve been talking about.

One example is when you tell your family that you’re trying to eat healthier and they seem to take great delight in telling you every time you don’t. It doesn’t seem to matter to them if you’ve done really well for a whole week. They’ll often just tend to focus on the one time you didn’t, just to try to detract you from your efforts.

The same thing can happen when you decide to face your fears. Maybe you’re trying to cope with your driving phobia by making small, different trips every day. But you still may ask your partner to drive on a longer journey because you don’t feel ready to do so. Just because of this, they may try to make light of everything you’ve achieved so far, even ridicule it.

These adverse reactions can even occur when you’re trying to improve your relationship. You may feel the need to improve communication, which is why you suggest to your partner that you both make a joint effort to do so.

But they may not make any effort to improve. Yet, the moment you lose your composure and fall back into old patterns of communication, they’ll take the opportunity to recriminate you.

“You’re supposed to eat healthier.” “I thought you’d overcome your fear of driving?” “What’s with all the anger? I thought you were going to be more understanding.”

All these questions and statements are basically reproaches. They aren’t designed to support and encourage you to continue. In fact, the intention is quite the opposite.

Why does this happen?

Firstly, you need to know that this happens often. It’s also important to realize that these types of reactions speak against those who do them.

People with a healthy emotional balance, who feel at ease with themselves and who have even gone through their own personal development process would never try to hinder someone else’s.

In addition to this, it’s important to emphasize that change isn’t always well received by those around you, even when it’s something that’s for your benefit (and maybe even to theirs).

Why is this? Because, when we change, we force a change in the dynamics of our relationships with other people. If one person ceases to be dependent, then the other loses their position of superiority.

If you decide to start communicating in a respectful way, then you no longer take part in arguments. If others aren’t willing to change, your efforts to improve may not please them.

A man thinking.

Stay firm

Your task is to stand firm whenever you get this type of reaction from those around you. What you need to try to do is not fall into the trap of denying yourself the right to mess up.

If you really want to bring about inner change, you must respect the process and find your rhythm. You don’t have to be perfect. It’s even good to take a rest, analyze how you’re getting on, and then take a different course.

Growth isn’t linear, and you won’t be able to succeed every single day. Messing up isn’t relapsing. A mistake doesn’t mean the end of the road or that your plans have failed.

Realize how important what you’re doing really is, and remember that you’re trying to be a better person. But, above all, remember that you still have the right to make mistakes.

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  • Fernández, G. C. (1997). La homeóstasis familiar. Revista Costarricense de Trabajo Social, (7).
  • Pereira, M. L. N. (2008). Relaciones interpersonales adecuadas mediante una comunicación y conducta asertivas. Actualidades investigativas en educación8(1).