How should people deal with screw-ups?
July 29, 2013 10:17 AM Subscribe
I am a recent law school grad, who went in with the intent of going into government/politics (i.e. not to be a lawyer) and was fortunate enough to find such a job. I did not want to take the bar, nor needed to, but decided to do so anyway because it seemed like I should (I know, terrible reason). I know for a fact that I have not studied enough and am going to fail.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (30 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I could not figure out at first why I was being so self-destructive but now think (after therapy) that it's because I didn't feel I had control over my decision. Instead, I felt I was being obliged to do something I didn't want or need to do, resulting in resentment and thereby a lack of desire to work.
I think the feelings of obligation come from my upbringing - my parent's love seemed conditional, and I "owed" them certain behaviors (e.g. no debating politics) because they were providing me my lifestyle (home, clothing, etc.). It has not helped that I have never left home (again, obviously a terrible decision in retrospect, but was appealing at the time in terms of less loans, etc.) - fortunately, that will no longer be the case in about a month.
My screw-up has made me realize that I need to recognize I have full ownership of my decisions (e.g. I chose to take the bar, whatever my reasoning). That realization has made me feel like I'll be able to study appropriately for the bar re-take.
I still have, however, anxiety/guilt over my screw-up. I figure I should feel really bad because I screwed-up; at the same time, I recognize there's nothing I can do now, and feel like I should appreciate that I've used this experience as fuel for personal growth.
I tried to explain all of this to my mother (seeking understanding, I guess?) and received backlash of basically how much I suck. Again, I can't figure out if that response is relatively appropriate (I did screw-up) or not (given I'm aware of the screw-up and am seeking to improve). If it is inappropriate, I'd like to know how one should act, as I find myself doing the same thing to my younger sibling sometimes.
So, three questions:
1. How bad should a person feel when they screw-up like this?
2. How should you support someone when they screw-up like this?
3. How should I move forward (making sure I hold steady for the next bar, and dealing with my mother)?
Thanks for any help everyone.