Perhaps you saw the T-mobile Superbowl commercial with Steve Harvey? Kudos to him (and his PR people) for making lemonade out of lemons. Click here to see the ad He has had a terrible year with the glaring mistake of announcing the wrong winner to the 2015 Miss Universe pageant. By all accounts it wasn't that he intentionally planned to do that but things happened. Everyone has slip ups and problems but it makes it more difficult when it is publicized world wide. And then it is not over. It can be reviewed over and over again via the internet.
There is a lesson to be learned. Just because you made a mistake doesn't mean that all is lost. I find that most people are very forgiving especially when the one who has made a mistake is forthright about it; when he owns up to the mistake, when he doesn't make any excuses about what happened and when he then moves on. Of course the admission is always easier to say and take when it is done in a spirit of humor and humility.
It is also easier to forgive ourselves when we own up to what has happened, when we learn from the experience and then when we move forward. I find that if I don't forgive myself, I will replay the mistake over and over again in my mind. Who needs the internet?
What about you? Have you made any mistakes- public or private? I certainly have had my spell of gaffs. I remember once speaking at a national conference. I was too naive to realize what was happening until I was thrust into the middle of it. Overall there was a misunderstanding- unbeknownst to me the event planner thought I was someone I was not and I was mistaken over the needs of the audience. The speech would've been fine had it been in another venue. As I began my speech the entire misunderstanding became clear to me. I tried to adjust the talk to the audience but to no avail. There is nothing worse to a speaker than a sea of blank faces staring at you for fifteen minutes. Oh well, live and learn.
The point is that we all make mistakes. We all have to apologize for those mistakes or at least recognize the problem, take responsibility for the situation and then move on.
I find that the best way is to achieve that is through a spirit of humor and humility.
It is asking oneself, "Did I mean to do it?" Most times the answer is no. Things just happen. Even so, we still need to recognize our responsibility in the matter, to own what has happened. If it is something that has become a pattern, then it is best to seek ways to break that pattern.
If it is just one of those things then I try to remember to keep it in context. "Is this really going to make a difference in my life- next month, next year, in ten years?"
I think of others who have shared stories of their gaffs and mistakes. It is encouraging to me because it reiterates that we all make mistakes. I then think of my situation a part of that collective; whom can I encourage/comfort with my story?
When I am in the middle of an embarrassing situation I sometimes have an "out of body" experience. It is as if I am seeing the situation from a far and putting distance between my immediate feelings and the context of time. I am already thinking that the problem would be a great story one day.
How about you? How do you handle gaffs and guffaws? Do you have any unresolved mistakes or embarrassing situations? What is holding you back from moving forward? How can you make lemonade out of a sour experience? What second chance can you give yourself? Or someone else?