Upside Leaders Expand Their Capacity for Forgiveness

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.” – Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM

Making mistakes is important to growth and learning, as is forgiveness.

Research shows that animals learn from their own mistakes, and can even learn by observing their peers get it wrong, an important skillset if you want to survive out in the wild.

Humans have the added ability to contemplate their mistakes.

Think about when you were a kid and learned through trial and error?

While I remember being warned to slow down around the curve on my Big Wheel – and I ended up sliding on my side at what felt like 60 miles per hour, I learned that it would have better to have tried this wearing pants. 😉

Part of the experience of every soul is that you can grow through your mistakes.

As an adult, your mistakes can have a longer term effect than my 6-year old self on the Big Wheel.

While the sting of my “road rash” lasted a day or two, there are mistakes that can create wounds that last a lifetime.

The errors of this magnitude are generally ones in which we have caused harm either to others or ourselves.

As with physical wounds, these need healing or they risk becoming infected, festering, and causing all kinds of consequences.

Aside from outward actions to learn lessons from the mistakes and repair consequences when possible, the best way to heal these wounds is through the use of open hearted forgiveness. 

When you develop and expand your own capacity for forgiveness you make room for compassion, remembering that life is filled with opportunities to grow. Forgiveness doesn’t simply benefit the person who you are forgiving.

It cleans the slate for yourself to move forward without as much emotional clutter and weight.

If the forgiveness required is about your own guilt and shame for having caused “damage” of some kind, then being able to forgive yourself, allows for you to be relieved in a way. To life your head and look to the present and future differently.

Forgiveness moves you into a state of acceptance. 

Acceptance for all that is. This expansiveness of acceptance, embracing all, is a perspective that renews you. It allows you access once again to what is possible.

Can you notice too that when you offer forgiveness to another, you find that what you give returns to you?

As I say at Design Your Destiny Live, the best leaders understand forgiveness doesn’t change the past, and it can change the future.

ACTION:  The Upside Challenge of the week is to review your mistakes this week.

What have you learned (both practically and emotionally)?

Do you need to clean anything up?

Take the actions.

Apply forgiveness.

Notice the effects.

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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