Screwing Up

Confession: I’ve been doing some screwing up lately.

The last few weeks have involved a couple of tough conversations about how I could be a better communicator. Honestly, I use to think I was a pretty good but lately I’ve really learned a lot about just how much I have left to learn. While the friends who confronted me and helped me see where there were some breakdowns in my life were really fabulous in their delivery and gave me the chance to fix it, even accepting my apology – I was still a bit discouraged…

… Until! Until as I was reading the last lecture this week I read this: ‘when you’re screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up on you’. Thank you Randy Pausch. I needed that reminder.

See we’ve all watched this happen to someone in our lives. Typically it’s a friend going down the wrong path and you and a few others try to get in the way and keep them from crashing and burning. But try as you might they’re determined to be idiots and eventually you watch as everyone stops trying and let’s them screw up. Am I right?

What I realized this week is that while I hate screwing up and I feel like I’ve had to do a lot of apologizing lately, people haven’t given up on me yet! My friends, my coworkers, and my family haven’t given up trying to communicate with me and help me do better. They are always pushing me towards being the best I can be and even when I get in a rut or my big mouth gets the better of me – they’re lovingly correcting me.

I learned the art of apologizing from my older sister, Rachel. She is amazing at sincere, timely apologies. I’ve never had to tell her when she’s hurt my feelings because she already knows. More often than not when she apologizes to me for something I haven’t even been hurt or remembered. She cares that much. She humbly apologizes anytime she thinks she might have done something that could have hurt or offended me in some way.

I’m hoping to take a few pages from her book. I am still screwing up. What I mean is, while I’m constantly trying to be a great friend, coworker, employee, girlfriend, bible study leader, neighbor, etc – I still muck it up regularly. But I am grateful this morning as I write this that people haven’t given up on me. That they keep giving me opportunities to repair my mistakes and grow from them. Paired with that I am renewing my efforts to respond well and out of humility when I am challenged so that people will keep coming to me with their suggestions.

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