YOUR WORST MOMENTS
Todd Dewett | April 15, 2020
You have fallen prey to your weaknesses. There have been lapses in judgment, an unexpected poor performance, something you regret, things you’re not proud to claim about yourself. We usually hide these things. Understandable. However, did you know that your worst moments create your best moments? Let me restate that: your worst moments can create your best moments – if you choose to learn and grow.
We all have bad moments, at work and in life. You didn’t get the promotion. The university turned your application. You upset the big client. You didn’t make the team. You lost your cool. You failed the test. You were caught doing something you should not have been doing.
These issues might make you feel flawed and possibly guilty. Fine, but they should also make you feel human, as these experiences are universal human experiences.
You just did something scary, unexpected, embarrassing, unpleasant, or maybe even criminal. The typical response is guilt, fear, anger, and self-pity. Predictable behavioral responses follow quickly: you rage, blame others, become risk averse, and withdraw.
These responses are somewhat understandable, but not productive. In fact, if you overindulge these feelings and behaviors, they can quickly consume you and become habits. They can become your standard response to an ever-increasing number of situations. This is prescription for long-term mediocrity and strained relationships.
Or, you can make a different choice. You can choose to allow these human occurrences to fuel personal growth. Everything in life is a choice. You can choose to reflect. You can choose to accept responsibility and make amends. You can choose to seek feedback. You can choose to expend great effort improving. Is it always easy? Nope – but it is your choice, and one you should make.
I’m just like you, entirely human. I’ve had wins and I’ve had losses. Times I have felt proud, and times I have felt embarrassed. Before I wrote a book people loved, I wrote many things that were ignored, full of errors, and simply mediocre. Before I found success as an online educator, I started an online education business that failed miserably – and publicly. Before I found a marriage that works, I helped ruin my first marriage. Sound familiar?
Let’s start thinking about making better choices when our humanity is revealed. First, admit it happened (whatever it might be). Accept your role. Identify and own the emotions that rush through you. Allow them to dissipate, and sequester yourself a small amount if needed. Acknowledge the need to deal with the situation productively. Though painful at first, commit to using the situation to help you grow.
Your next task is to choose not to be alone in the journey. There are many experts who can help. That might be a professional counselor of some sort, a dear friend, or a religious leader. You can engage educational materials designed to help you with the situation, whether that is a book, an online course, or a workshop. You can build further understanding by working with a mentor, a support group, or even a peer group you assemble yourself.
When our humanity shows up in less than uplifting ways, there are no lack of options for moving forward productively. You simply have to make the choice to be productive. So, let me affirm you: I know you’re a mess just like me and nearly all humans. Get over it. Don’t overindulge the negative tendencies that follow difficult moments.
Imagine a time in the not-to-distant future when you’re sharing your testimony with another person who is dealing with one of their more difficult or regrettable moments. What will you say to them? If you’ve followed the advice briefly outlined above, you will have insightful, kind, and helpful things to share. Combine that with a huge dose of listening, and you will have helped them survive and begin to grow.
That’s priceless, right? As it turns out, with the right perspective, bad moments eventually become some of your most useful moments.
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The correct way to break a promise: Many experts suggest it’s not wise to make promises because sometimes circumstances change in ways we can’t predict. But it happens, so what do you do? Just remember that as long as you’re not a habitual promise-breaker, you won’t necessarily harm key relationships. Just do these three things. First, alert the person or persons who will care the most – sooner than later! Next, explain yourself clearly, honestly, and succinctly – own it. Then it’s time to make amends. Don’t make another promise, but do let them know what you intend to do to avoid this situation in the future, and how you intend to make it up to them. Then, the next time someone breaks a promise to you, try and be kind about it – because you’ve done it too!
Join me today for my next LinkedIn Live event, 11:00 am central time: Overcoming Sacred Cows – The Key to Igniting Innovation. Join me for a discussion of one of the most fascinating innovation and personal improvement obstacles we’ve ever known – sacred cows. They are seemingly immovable behaviors that are considered valid, but untouchable, totally unproductive, and they’re holding us back… I’ll be frank, funny, and hopefully helpful – tune in to find out! Just “follow” me at https://www.linkedin.com/