One of the best things that’s happened since I became a coach is having the ability to laugh at myself. Looking back I can see that I used to be very sensitive, especially when I made mistakes.

This realization came on Tuesday this week when I was sharing an e-poster for the 5 Keys to Turning Prospects Into Clients teleclass.

A few hours after I sent out the information on Facebook and WhatsApp, I discovered that:
1. The poster had the wrong date.
2. In the WhatsApp message, I had used the middle finger emoji instead of ? (no offense meant…).

The Horror!

When I made this discovery, I wanted to hide and never show my face again. I felt worse I remembered that some of the WhatsApp messages had gone to people I really respect!

Well…given that I have my professional credibility to maintain, there was no hiding. I did pace up and down the house for about 30 minutes wondering how I was ever going to look these people in the eyes again.

Then, as I paced, I found myself calming down as I mumbled, “It’s never that serious.”

The Solution

I then shared the story with my children and they laughed themselves silly.

Their laughter and comments got me back on track and I found myself laughing along as we tried to imagine the looks on the people’s faces when they read the message.

In a few minutes, my mood changed and I now wanted to have been a fly on these people’s walls as they read it. That cackled me up some more.

As I laughed, an idea came to my mind…that I could use this as an opportunity to make these people laugh too. So I crafted an apology that started with the words, “Of days that go awry without you planning (feel free to laugh out loud)”.

I informed them that I had noticed the 2 mistakes in the previous message, apologized, and cracked a joke about it. I then invited them to have a good laugh at my expense and also attached the correct image.

Guess how many people responded that I had made their day?

All. Of. Them!

And…quite a number expressed interest in the class…after they had laughed of course.

The Lesson

We all make mistakes in our personal and professional lives. Sometimes the mistakes are too big and we just have to deal with the consequences. Other times, we may have to take a dent in our pride and make amends.

The previous version of me would probably just have ignored the mistake and pretended it never happened. All done while beating myself up for weeks on end!

Maybe I’d also have avoided some of these people for a few months, hoping that by the time we connect, they’ll have forgotten the incident.

I’ve found that it pays to learn the lessons from my mistakes very fast. And, if possible, laugh at myself and share the lesson(s) and laughter with others.

When you do this, not only do you get to feel better, but you also make someone else’s day. This also creates space for deeper personal or professional connections.

This is my #1 lesson this week. I hope it’s made your day a bit brighter. And I also hope that you too will be more careful selecting the right emojis even if you’re in a hurry!

(Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash)

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