It is sometimes hard for me to admit when I am wrong. I believe this is a fundamental difficulty for many. But, to admit that you are wrong first requires you to know that you are wrong. Someone once commented to me that I never seemed to admit when I was in error. I promptly replied that I was waiting to commit an error before I actually admitted to one.
That was a long time ago and I am much more aware of my shortcomings these days. Although, I do admit that some habits are hard to break.
To Transform into the best you can be, at whatever your endeavors may be, it is very important to be able to admit when you are wrong. This brings us to Step #13 in Transformation – I will promptly admit when I am wrong and I will make amends for any harm my mistakes may have caused others.
Owning up to our mistakes is a cornerstone of honesty. Imagine that you are a physician and in the course of diagnosing and treating a patient you make a mistake that results in harm to the patient, grievous harm. Except, the patient isn’t aware you made a mistake. The patient thinks you are perfect. Would you tell them?
Well, I am a physician and a human man which means I make mistakes. This scenario has happened to me many times in my career. When I made a mistake that either harmed or brought potential harm to a patient, I immediately informed them and then apologized.
Was I ever afraid there would be repercussions, that I might be sued? Yes, terribly afraid. Even though I am covered by malpractice insurance, being sued is a very traumatic experience. But, I never have been sued. Most have thanked me for my honesty and turned to me once more for solutions. I have found that honesty is the better insurance policy.
If you can’t admit when you are wrong, how can you possibly claim honesty as a personal trait or something to which you aspire? If you can’t be honest by default then you are by dishonest by default. A business model built on dishonesty will never be a viable business. Dishonest businesses have a 100% success rate at failure.
Beyond admitting one’s mistakes, is what to do about the consequences of making them. Admitting to a mistake or error but refusing to make things right afterward is a job half done and, in my opinion, another mistake. What do you call someone who makes a mess, admits to making it but then refuses to clean it up? A child? A jerk? A bung hole?
Whatever the adjective you might use, it would never be anything nice. I would still call them dishonest.
Admitting one’s mistakes and making amends for them is not only the right thing to do, it is good for the spirit. What is good for your spiritual self is down right great for everything else.
Can you, do you, admit when you are wrong? Do you make amends for your mistakes? Please return here soon for another installment in the Transformation Series.