What to Do When You Mess Up

“You’ve lost more than one follower as a result of your careless words.”

I read the sentence directed at me again and let the words land the way they were designed to.

I have a deep reverence for words. 

My husband jokes that I speak hundreds of thousands of them per day in contrast to him. I love thoughtfully stringing them together in a way that hits a reader’s heart impactfully. I want my words to make people feel things (ideally positive and powerful things). I spend precious time crafting sentences that convey concepts that have been communicated thousands of times before, but in a way that feels uniquely me

And I cannot refute that, in the past, I’ve poured words into an email in my signature sarcastic real AF tone and they haven’t landed. They were not powerful. They hit a reader’s heart in the worst way possible. Gulp.

To be honest, this has happened with friends, family and even last week on my Champagne Society Insiders email list when I made an off-handed joke about “Mom Prom” not knowing it was an actual thing. Not knowing that actual thing was based in Charleston. Definitely not knowing that thing served a worthy cause. Double gulp.

So I find myself here in this interesting space of opportunity. Opportunity for growth from another human lesson and the opportunity to share that very personal growth with you.

Apparently I really hurt some women’s feelings, which is the worst.

Apparently I “lost more than one follower,” which negatively impacts my mission to help women reclaim their identities outside of “mom.”

Apparently I’m kind of an asshole . . .

Oh waaaaaaait! That was just my inner critic jumping on the bandwagon and taking advantage at the most opportune time before I was reminded (with some beautiful help from a friend) that I, despite my human errors, am NOT an asshole.

I am more than one human mistake.

I am more than the words someone else writes about me.

I am more than others’ false (so false) social media perception of me.

And I am so much more than how many followers I have on any platform.

And, sweet sister goddess mother of dragons, so. are. you.

Who we TRULY are is determined more in the moments after we make the mistake than in the mere fact that we messed up in the first place. 

So I took some deep breaths. I welcomed in the familiar shame of disappointing someone and I let it land. And then I asked myself what the story underneath the shame was that was making me feel extra bad.

“You are obviously an asshole and you let everyone down.”

I know exactly where that story came from and the moment it anchored into me as a child, and because of all the work I’ve done on my mindset, I also know it’s a “logic-bound lie”, and my attachment to it is what keeps it strong and healthy.

So there was only one thing to do: Talk to a friend who sees me for my BEST self. Take ownership and apologize. And then let that shit goooo and detach the human mistake from the core of who I am as a human. Because, trust me, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.

I almost didn’t share this story, concerned it was too personal or too victim-like. But then I realized that’s a whole lot of thinking about a very obvious real life lesson sitting right in my inbox that might just relate to the person who reads it today.

So here’s my real life reminder to you that it’s the moments AFTER impact where you have the most power to claim the story or learn from and change the story. Whatever you choose, just know I’ll be over here putting myself out there over and over and over, very imperfectly, despite continual discomfort and F ups, until I feel my work is done (so like, I'll be dead).

Because that’s who I say I really am.

To your unique human-ness,

G

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