This week, I made a big mistake.
Someone reached out to me about something I'd shared and let me know of an error. At first I didn't want to believe them. I justified my actions to myself. I felt like I was in the right—they didn't understand.
They were at fault, not me.
But then I truly considered their perspective.
I dropped all of the context that I felt explained myself. I tried to imagine the worst perspective that someone could have experienced. It was painful. Without the pretense, my error became obvious, and it was embarrassing to witness.
I had screwed up, big time, and I had only myself to blame.
It was time to own up.
Like many, I hate apologizing. I want to feel flawless, like I never make mistakes, especially embarrassing ones. But I tried my best to own up to it, accept responsibility for my mistake, and do everything I could to rectify the situation.
I asked what I could do to make it right.
The suggested fix was simple, cleaned up my mistake, and actually provided more value to the content.
A win-win I was almost too stubborn to experience.
Apologizing and fixing my mistake made them feel better about the content. That was enough of a win in itself. Then they shared the revised version with their own audience.
A valuable lesson in taking the time to consider criticism from a fresh point of view, and in how to avoid making a similar mistake in the future.
Cleaning up a mistake is never fun, but it's worth it.
Never be too proud to admit fault and make it right.