Today I’m doing something a little different. I’m participating in Podmas! The only problem is that I’m too late to the party and it’s actually over, but I’m not doing it right at all…
What is Podmas?
You may have heard me mention Lucy Lucraft’s podcast “What She Said” here before. This is a podcast about women who have built creative careers online, and each week Lucy interviews an inspirational person. This was the first podcast I ever listened to and I liked it so much that I ended up sponsoring Season 3 of Blogger She Courses. What She Said is so moving that listening to her latest episode while walking the dog is the highlight of my Mondays. (If you want to listen, search for “What She Said Podcast” wherever you listen to podcasts)
Lucy does something called Podmas every December. It’s Christmas and podcasts. Look what she did there! Podmas is a little different from Lucy’s usual podcast topics as she is a shorter version of a podcast that focuses on personal things. She has recorded 12 mini-girlfriend episodes that give you a glimpse into her life away from the podcast. Very interesting and I would love to hear more about Lucy’s life!
I was a little late to listening to Podmus this year, and by the time I finally finished listening to them all, I was almost done with 12 episodes of Lucy.
This year, Lucy encouraged all listeners to participate in Podmus and provided 12 prompts to start discussions on specific topics.
The prompt is:
- best advice i received
- does being vulnerable online mean xyz?
- I learned about myself this year
- worst advice i received
- Why podcast
- What are my values? Because ?
- I live here because….
- 3 things you don’t know about me
- I’m afraid to say these three things
- I encourage diversity by….
- How to spend Christmas
I know I’m ridiculously late to the party, but I decided to join Podmas. However, I decided to write a reply instead of speaking. I’m not very good at speaking. I stumble over my words and usually 10 minutes after her I think of something great I could have said, but I’ve missed the boat. I love writing, I love words, but most importantly I love being able to edit my words!
So here I go with Podmas day 1: The best piece of advice I’ve been given
The best advice I ever received was at the first conference I attended. I was about 23 years old and I remember sitting in a large auditorium that was darkened and the stage was lit up with purple lights. I didn’t know anyone there, so I felt a little nervous and very alone, but there was something comforting about sitting in the dark and hearing someone talk about something really moving. I balanced a blue notepad on my thigh, too mesmerized by the persona on stage to write down a single word.
I don’t remember who that person was. He doesn’t even remember if it was a man or a woman, but he remembers almost every word they said.
“I own my mistakes”
The main point and gem of advice they mentioned was to own up to your mistakes and when you’ve done something wrong, raise your hand and admit it.
It’s very scary to admit that you’ve done something wrong, but once you admit it, it’s no big deal. But if you keep it inside, it will either eat away at you or escalate into even greater chaos.
As soon as you tell someone, you’ll get help to fix it, learn from that mistake, and move on.
But if you don’t tell anyone, you might spend the rest of your life digging yourself out of a hole that gets deeper and deeper.
The conference was very business-heavy, and the speakers gave many examples of people failing at work and trying to hide it until it became a catastrophic mess that was irreversible.
This is an extreme example, but things like this happen all the time in movies, and every time I watch it I’m reminded of that meeting. You know those movies where the main character accidentally kills someone and tries to hide the body, but while hiding from the police, his life spirals out of control and he ends up in inevitable prison? Yes, those movies. They really should admit their mistake! When you’re at home watching a movie on your couch, it seems so easy to yell at the TV, “What are you doing, you idiot?” Please call the police and explain what happened. It was an accident. You could have been punished for manslaughter and given your time, but now you’re on the run and you’ve ruined everything, you!’
Now, let’s go back to a real example.
As we talked, I remembered the time when I was a child and my father’s favorite fountain pen broke. This was back in his ’90s, when people actually wrote things with pens, and having a good fountain pen was a big deal. This pen was beautiful, seriously, it was a dog bollocks when it came to pens. I was sitting at my father’s desk in his office at home, writing down the words that came to his mind. I felt the ink glide across the paper and admired how well my handwriting looked with this lovely pen. I couldn’t wait to grow up and have a pen like mine. When my father came to sit down to work each evening, he must have found pages of nonsense written on the best printer paper scattered across his desk.
Then something terrible happened. I broke my pen. As I was fiddling with the lid, it broke in my clumsy little hands. Without a sealed lid, the pen dried out and was never quite the same again.
I felt so bad that I couldn’t tell anyone.
I would sneak into my dad’s office every few weeks to check on Penn, but unfortunately, it didn’t heal on its own.
I still feel bad about that.
Years later, pens came up in a conversation and my heart pierced inside me like a rock.
“That pen broke a while ago,” my father said, glancing in my direction. “I don’t know what happened….’
It was an opportunity for me, a chance for me, a time to finally admit what happened, and I didn’t accept it.
It was like a devil and an angel were on my shoulders and one was yelling, “Now tell him, tell him, it’ll feel so good to finally confess!” . “No, no, don’t tell him and he’ll know!” while the other one quietly muttered, “No, no, don’t tell him and he’ll know!” He’ll know you broke it he may be angry. Or worse, he might be really disappointed.’
And every child knows the horror of a parent saying, “I’m not angry. I’m just really disappointed.” Oh, I still know that nothing could be worse than this.
And I didn’t tell him. I haven’t told him yet. And there’s still a part of me that feels really bad about it.
If I had made that mistake 25 years ago, it would all have been forgotten. You probably don’t even remember breaking your pen. My dad wouldn’t care either! My father was the most laid-back person in the world, and he wouldn’t have gotten angry back then.
Since hearing that talk at a conference I don’t remember, I’ve become much better at admitting my mistakes, especially at work.
I don’t know about you, but it’s a terrible feeling when you do something wrong at work. The moment you realize you’ve deleted an entire folder full of photos and can’t get them back anymore, or you sent an email to the wrong client and you’re stuck with a bunch of photos, you’re in trouble, when you told a little lie because you missed a deadline, and then you forgot about it and just threw yourself into a huge hole with a giant shovel, and all you had to do was start digging…
Panic begins in your chest as your heart rate increases and your palms become sweaty. My neck tingles and I suddenly feel very, very hot. Your cheeks are flushed, your eyes darting everywhere, and a quiet “oh, fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu gonna gonna* like****ta*uuuuuuuuuuuuuuu and I wish I could go back in time. Just go back 10 seconds to where she was and everything will be fine. Why isn’t that possible? Why doesn’t it matter!?
My colleague looks at me with a suspicious look on his face.
‘Are you okay? ‘They listen.
Now is a chance. Please take it. Please tell me about them. Tell them everything and everything will be fine.
Or hide it and you’re alone in this situation.
One of the best things about admitting your mistakes is the fact that no one will talk badly about you anymore.
There’s nothing worse than someone saying bad things behind your back. Well, maybe there is one thing that is worse. It’s about sitting alone at home and wondering if someone is talking bad about you behind your back. You start imagining what they’re saying and somehow end up saying something much worse than what someone would actually say. That’s the worst!
But if you’ve already thrown your hands up and said, “Yes, I failed there,” then I did something wrong, took on a project I wasn’t ready for, and failed. I’m inexperienced so I’m sorry for the mistake. I’m sorry I messed up, I’m sorry if I made your job harder. However, I am confident that I will learn from this mistake and will never make it again.’
If you have already raised your hands and admitted that you are a fool, no one else can call you a fool because you have already done it.
This is the best advice I’ve ever received.
Admit your mistakes, apologize, and learn from them.
Tomorrow I’ll be talking about Day 2’s prompt about what being vulnerable online means to me.