Oh my word.
It happens so fast.
In one moment I’m dancing around in My Happy Place (not literally though, because I’ve never really felt like dancing when things are great – I’m more of a high-fives in the air and whoo-hooing myself kind of girl), feeling good because everything seems to be under control.
I make a mistake. And within an hour I’ve been bumped from My Happy Place and bounced into the Place of Pity and Despair.
And who did the bumping? Me. Myself. I.
Have you taken this trip? We can share travel journals.
My itinerary looked like this…
There was a misunderstanding with a client and I accepted responsibility for the mistake. My fault.
Common sense – and good professional sense – tells me to figure out what went wrong. Accept responsibility and apologize. Figure out what I can do to fix it or make it better. And then move on and do even better work and do not make the same mistake again.
But I took a detour instead.
I made a mistake. I took responsibility and apologized. Figured out what I could do, if anything, to make it better. But then I started to question all my professional skills. It was no longer about the mistake; it was about my entire career. And life. I came to the conclusion that I’m not very good at what I do. And started anticipating that all my clients are going to stop working with me because I am not competent. And then I decided that I am not smart enough. Or fast enough. Or skinny enough. Or blonde enough. Or tall enough.
I mean, really.
Why do we do this, Friends?
It’s just plain stupid.
Wasted energy and wasted time and wasted whining.
So since I’m fresh off the bumping wagon, I’m needing to make some notes to remember what NOT to do next time I make a mistake. And what TO Do. I’m sharing them here because I believe I’m part of a group of really great people who get this. (And I don’t want to believe I’m the only one who acts this way.)
Here we go…
Yup. You made a mistake today. It’s not your first mistake. It’s not your last mistake. You can analyze why or how you misunderstood the instructions until the cows come home. But that’s not going to change anything.
Following your bumping path from Happy Place to Place of Pity and Despair got you all stirred up, worried, and fretting. And it didn’t help.
Remember. One mistake does not define you. It doesn’t make you stupid. It doesn’t make you incompetent. And it certainly has nothing to do with your speed, weight, height, or hair color. You’re just looking to start a pity party when you choose those stops.
You’ve apologized. You’ve fixed what you can fix. Now do good work.
Learn from it. Put it behind you. And let it go.
You’re a big girl. Act like one. (Sometimes I have to use tough love with myself.)
Life is filled with so many good things. Don’t miss them because you are feeling sorry for yourself. Life is too short to miss the rest of today.
It’s a new moment. Right now. Good things are still going to happen before your head hits the pillow tonight.
So. On we go.
You are good and smart, Gaye. Trust that.
With Grace and Compassion,
Your Wiser Self
Can I hear a “I’m with you! Leaving my Pity Party and whoo-hooing myself back to My Happy Place!”
Love you, My Friends!