I feel that whenever someone points out a mistake of mine they are providing me with an opportunity to change for the better. However, the conditioned human response is to get defensive & make excuses. The latter seems to provide us with protection but in fact we have lost an opportunity to learn, grow and improve!
I am not the only one; all humans have made and will continue to make mistakes. But we all have a choice: do we live a life of false denial or do we accept responsibility for our actions and work towards self improvement. For the latter to happen, we must drop our pride & ego and be humble enough to say: "Yes, I made a mistake but I want to change". This will then lead us to: learn, grow and improve!
The first step towards growth & learning is to accept that one has made a mistake! Denial is not going to help. Making excuses and shrugging responsibility may feel good in the short term but in the longer term this causes a lot of suffering, both for us and our near and dear ones. What's done is done, we cannot change the past; BUT we must learn from it and change ourselves! Otherwise we will be condemned to repeat our mistakes again and again and again.
So the real question is this: Do you wish to live a life thinking, "I already know everything" OR do you wish to learn, grow and improve? By the way, picking the latter option does not mean, "you don't know anything", it simply means: I know many things but there is still more to learn, grow and improve!
So then, when does this learning process end? Will there come a point when one can say, "I know everything"? NO! This process of learning, growing and improving continues until we die. But then, what about those who have chosen to say, "I know everything" and stopped the improvement process even while alive? They are already DEAD!
One word of caution: I know some people who say: I am always open to learning but in reality they are not i.e. they are hypocrites! Be very careful of simply repeating concepts that sound good without actually implementing them. The only person you are fooling is yourself! Honesty is very important on the path of self improvement as well as self realisation. *
There are some who argue that there is no “self” to improve. This is an immature viewpoint, one that will drop away as they mature on the spiritual path. Then it will become clear to them that self improvement and self realisation are like two sides of the same coin – they comfortably coexist.