While reading the book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I came across this question: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from a past mistake?
For me, this question has two part answers: one answer is personally and one answer is professionally. The answer to this question personally is, I’ve learned how to love more and not be selfish in any relationship. Although I’m still learning this OMG am I always a student of love… I’ve learned from the loss of a relationship some time ago with someone in my past, to listen more and be accountable for my actions. In that previous relationship, I learned so much about having more of an emotional connection with my partner, not just physical and materialistic things that women seek in relationships. I was so used to my physical appearance “being enough” to stay in the relationship, no matter how dependent or toxic it may have been. This was the first relationship that I experienced having real adult conversations, i.e., budgeting, household expenses, goals, boundaries, etc. In other previous relationships, mentally, it went more like this:
Me to guy: What do you want me to do?
Guy: (Without saying a word but showing me by all of his actions): I’m going to waste your time year after year because I don’t value you.
Now this year, I’ve been all about applying the word: ACCOUNTABILITY in my life. So I learned that if I held the men accountable for their flaws/mistakes, I must also look in the mirror at FELICIA. My idol Shonda Rhimes has her mantra, “Say Yes” ….mine is just being more accountable in all all that I do.
Next, I’m learning how to be more accountable in my work environment. As I work in a very emotional and sometimes hostile environment (a juvenile detention center) I always say to myself: No matter what happens, be responsible for your actions. For me, this one statement helps me continuously hold myself accountable for all of my reactions to people and circumstances, no matter what!
Whenever I do motivational speaking engagements I make sure I let everyone know who’s under the sound of my voice, that I MAKE MISTAKES, DAILY. Being a leader, you’re oft expected to know everything and expected to lead a life of excellence. Talk about peer pressure. Once I hit my years in the 30’s, I learned quickly that my excellence truly comes from serving others, and was a hard lesson for me to learn. Most of my peers are running around chasing professional titles with corner offices, or starting families and I’m just trying to network with people whom I can better serve. I aspire everyday to lead by my actions and not just by my words or empty promises.
Serving others always help me reach my goal of being accountable and is also the gateway of reaching my highest potential and or accomplishing goals in my life. I hold myself accountable, every step of the way. Whether it’s while I’m working in the production stages of theater or dealing with a crisis on a unit at work. I do self check ins A LOT! If my tongue gets too jazzy (which it will ASAP) I’ll hold myself accountable, and take action to reset circumstances or my relationships with people.
Ask yourself, What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from a past mistake? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or use this question as a journal moment and write freely and most importantly, honestly.