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the power of mea culpa
while we are all about the "NEXT PLAY MENTALITY" - a basketball technique created by the legendary COACH K which basically says "once the ball is out of your hands you have no control over it, so let it go and focus on your next move" - our last newsletter brought with it a great opportunity to talk about something really important: the power of mea culpa.
some of you probably didn't even notice, but the first paragraph of our last newsletter contained some very clunky phrasal constructions just for the fact that we clicked the wrong buttons and sent the wrong test version. we could just shrug it off, focus on the next play and hustle to show our worth by scoring a beautiful three-pointer. however, there's something very powerful in acknowledging you have screwed up, and this is something we've been constantly talking about with our clients:
you are not beyoncé.
except for QUEEN B, no one will ever be flawless; we're all bound to make mistakes - we're allowed to; this societal pressure to be perfect is a disease that must be fought. especially if you're a woman. we all carry this burden of being always willing and ready because we know our seat at the table is always under review. due to this (not so) self-imposed pressure, we get afraid of errors, when they are an integral part of the scientific process of success. errors and ignorance are values that we mustn't be complacent with, yes. but not values that we should avoid, because it's only when we notice them that we truly have the opportunity to improve ourselves.
wrongly perceived as a sign of weakness, the act of acknowledging a mistake is actually empowering. to expose your flaws out in the open is to take back the power from them. you signal they are insignificant when compared with your skills - you're above them.
but more than guts, fearlessness and confidence, it shows that you have (i) the analytical capacity of telling right from wrong, and (ii) a sense of care and responsibility to something outside of yourself.
in an era where social media creates a sometimes comfortable algorithm bubble where a mirror is rarely held up against oneself, and so-called authorities have no sense of accountability - have you ever seen them owning up to their mistakes? it's always someone else's fault (and problem) - the brand or person that comes forward and shows the commitment to get better, to improve, immediately sends a message that they don't feel they're above the rest. it immediately establishes a two-way dialogue channel with their interlocutors, acquiring authority and sympathy.
but above all, the most important thing about the transformative power of mea culpa is what acknowledging your mistakes can mean to other people. here's the thing: some of our mistakes aren't as benign as a badly reviewed grammar; some mistakes can actually hurt other people. so, whenever someone comes forward and acknowledges a mistake, it becomes a huge act of selflessness. of willing to be caring, respecting and responsible with other people outside of their immediate circle. this part alone makes it all worth it. always.
so… that's that. from our end, next time around we'll fight our anxiety to send the newsletter, and we'll triple check the test email - outsourcing the "go ahead" for a fresh pair of eyes that were outside of the creation process. as for your end: don't wait for people to point out your flaws. get ahead of it, meditate on them, expose them, be accountable for them and enjoy the transformative power of mea culpa.
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