I'm not sure if you're like me, but I seem to have the same problems reoccurring over and over again. Almost as if I can't escape the grips of my own weaknesses. It's not that I don't know what they are either.
I know I'm prideful. I know I'm late. I know I'm selfish. I know I'm blunt with people.
Even more, I realize when I do it. I go home and fill my mind with regret, questions and convictions, “was I too harsh tonight?” Or, “I was so loud tonight, people probably think I'm cocky.” Or, “why can't I be on time, ever?”
I feel bad about it. I attempt to change. But like many of you, I seem to make little progress.
This past week, I was sitting with a group of men discussing personal development.
After sharing some of the deceptive, broken things I've done and the behaviors I've shown toward people, a gentlemen said to me, “Have you shared your failures with the people you affected, and asked them how it made them feel?”
“Not really,” I responded. “Unless I really hurt someone, I've kind of just always let it go.”
And that's when he dropped the wisdom.
“The pain, shame, and sorrow we feel within a vulnerable apology, or the admitting of guilt, is our greatest teacher. When we have the opportunity to finally see the pain we caused in the eyes of the person we hurt, it becomes a mirror of clarity and a reminder of why we should never do it again.”
Hurtful things unrecognized or not seen provide no growth. We must purposefully bring to light the wrongful things we have done to people, approach them in a form of submission and witness the consequences of our actions.
We must learn that “acting like that, makes people feel like this.”
If we can see the hurt with our own heart and eyes, we will eventually think twice before we make such an offense in the future. Whether it's being late to meetings, being insensitive with people, or lying to a friend, it's in these moments where the most mature people grow.
And that's what I did, this past week I apologized for the many things I have done to my wife. Things I've said and actions I've made that have hurt her over the past several years. I asked her how I made her feel in those moments. I stepped into that emotion with her. I saw the pain in her eyes. And even though she forgave me, it's the memory of this difficult and embarrassing moment that will help me from repeating those offenses in the future.
What behavior or attitude or dishonest or hurtful or secretive things have you done to the people around you? Have you just ignored them? Have you just moved on as if it never happened?
My Challenge To You Is This:
Are you brave enough to apologize for where you are weak? To watch the pain you caused in their eyes? Are you capable of stepping into the embarrassment in order to grow?
This is maturity.
Some know me as a serial entrepreneur and Founder of Sevenly and StartupCamp, others know me as the guy who can ride a unicycle and still kickflip on a skateboard. I’m on a mission to inspire people. Will you join me?