It used to be a big relief to say Sorry for a goof up and acknowledge that I did the mistake. At lest, that assured me that I don't have to lie or create stories to justify the mistake which would ensure that I can't correct it or get any guidance to correct it as I justified it.
Was it that difficult as a kid? If you take out fear of consequence then it was easy. But, acknowledgement and admission to the mistake always helped feel good and learn how not to commit the same mistake again.
Very few people admit & correct mistakes but rest live with the guilt of it.
During my school days, we were playing in the ground, I hit the football high & it landed in to volleyball court where our teacher was also playing. The ball directly landed on his nose when it was most unexpected and this teacher used to urge us not to hit the football high from this side of the ground as someone can get hurt. His nose bled like anything. Fortunately no one had observed that it was me who hit the ball. I was terrified to admit it as I didn't know what consequences it may have. However, I have been taught to acknowledge truth. I gathered my courage went up to him and I said, Sorry Sir, it was me who hit the ball with no intention to hit him , I surely got a lecture, but I feel the teacher respected my honesty and no further actions.
In fact, it needs courage to acknowledge your mistake and say that I have learnt my lesson
Few days back there was an email chain going on where I wrote a statement and that statement probably left a couple of people confused. When I realised it, I immediately took responsibility and acknowledged that I should have explained my point of view better. I didn't have any confusion while writing the email. As it was a communication towards disagreement on certain subject, the other party was quick in take the snippet of my confession and respond by saying that I agreed to have created the confusion. So, that's what happened and I acknowledged. Nothing wrong in it. In fact, it needs courage to acknowledge your mistake and say that I have learnt my lesson or rather lessons in this case
Another story, few years back, I goofed up during a technical execution which had a considerable impact on my service delivery and impacted lot of customers for a couple of hours. As soon as, I realised it, I went to the team who executed the required changes and I found that there was a wrong command executed. I thought for a moment was quickly able to decide that I must go to HoD and admit it before he gets it as a surprise. So, I went up to him narrated the whole story, the intention behind the changes we wanted to do etc. He in turn immediately took Customer HoD in confidence and we with peace of mind were able to sort out the problem quickly. Imagine, had we tried to hide it, we would have had to justify the mistake with probably falsified facts which would surely have taken toll on us.
These are small experiences of my own, where I committed mistakes, admitted it, corrected it wherever possible. Leaving you with a beautiful speech of Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam where he tells his story in his own words. (Click to listen)
Few Character traits it takes to admit, acknowledge and correct your own mistakes are,
Honesty to be ready for consequences
Acceptance of what you did
Leaving aside your EGO
Courage- walk up to who is hurt and claim that it was your mistake, you are sorry & ready to correct it
Acknowledging mistakes help yo to be at peace of mind, satisfied and get good sleep. This also ensures that you get up with new energy in you and move forward without worrying about the mistake that you committed.
This philosophy of acceptance & acknowledgement of your own mistakes carries on its legacy even in today's corporate world. These kind of people are respected in fact perform better as they commit mistakes, learn and improve. Its an undeniable improvement cycle
How many of bosses or managers or corporate leaders you have seen, standing tall in front of everyone and acknowledge it was a mistake and he has learnt his lessons.
Sharing another story of one such individual. In one of the customer review meetings where few of our team members were present and there broke an argument on certain subject. Our HoD, who is normally calm and composed, in a fit of rage pulled up one of my team members in front of everyone including customer. Later, my immediate manager took courage to go up to him and tell him that what he did was wrong.
Then happened which no one imagined. He called up all the team members present in that meeting with customer and publicly apologised on whatever happened and that he shouldn't have done that. It was a mistake which he admitted and he rose multi-fold in the respect he earned
You show that you are a man of character and I assure you will be relieved from the "BAGGAGE of GUILT"
I hope you enjoyed reading this short story article and will practice the principle of honestly, acceptance & acknowledgement in your lives....
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