If you can’t squarely say I screwed up. If you can’t put the word “I” in there. If you can’t say “I did this and it was wrong”, or “I did that and it went really badly” or any other combination of complete no-nonsense, full acceptance, with no excuses in between, statements about what you did was wrong, then you have no idea what you need to correct. You will waste all of your time, and the time of those around you, on all of the supporting stories (yes stories because they are absolutely made up crap) that you tell yourself is what happened. Nothing of which is addressing the root cause of what happened. “I screwed up.” Or, you just say “I screwed up” followed by “I can fix it” or “I can’t fix this and need some help”. Total elapsed time under 5 seconds. Immediately actionable. And if you follow it with “really sorry about that” your sincerity will sure as hell go along way with the people that had to live with the screw up.
AND, if you are witnessing made up stories that are completely skirting the “I screwed up” reality and you choose to go along with the storyline because it is easier, “YOU SCREWED UP”. You are now complicit in the crime. Reality sucks. See it for what it is. Call it for what it is. Immediately. Before anything else spins up and takes anything else out.