If you mess up, fess up quickly so you can fix it up
In Smart Ways 20 and 21, I go into detail about the story of Jake’s misdemeanours and the long, barefoot walk back from the prison to what was then a MIOMO camp.
In this particular case, Jake’s failure to own up had put a fantastic tree-climbing adventure in jeopardy for the whole group. With my guidance, he owned up in front of everyone. It was the first time he had ever made himself accountable to his victims; until that point, Jake’s philosophy was that if you were dumb or vulnerable enough to get duped, that was your own fault.
With the experience of being accountable, plus the life skills and great attitudes he learned on MIOMO, Jake caught a glimpse of a future that was loaded with possibilities. By making the decision to ‘fess up and fix it up’, he felt lighter and freer.
Sometimes, it can seem that covering up your ‘wrongs’ is the best way to go. But there’s a saying that ‘secrets make you sick’ and it’s true for so many people – many of whom end up with addictions to distract themselves from facing emotions like shame or unhealthy guilt.
Having owned up, the next step is to fix the damage if it’s still possible. Others will find it easier to forgive when there’s a visible effort to front up and put the situation right. You’ll also feel far better about yourself.
Read more in Making It On my Own; 52 Smart Ways to Smash It in the Real World. You can also work on developing a strong, honest character at my January MIOMO 4-day course.