Blunder. Just the sound of the word conjures up some interesting pictures in my mind. It sounds awkward and yet a little humorous to me. It suggests failing but sounds a little kinder. When I looked it up I wasn't a fan of the actual definition that mentions being stupid and clumsy. Clumsy maybe, stupid..yikes. I am smiling as I write this - for the third time! I inadvertently deleted my first draft - how ironic is that - note to self- do not discard your changes - blunder one for the day! Then I quickly wrote my second draft and headed out to the gym. While I was at the gym, I mentioned to a couple of my classmates that I had made a major blunder and was writing a blog post about it. I was actually surprised by their response. You made a blunder? They were genuinely surprised that I actually F@#*d up! Right then I knew I had to edit this again and most definitely post it.
I am feeling much more light-hearted about this post now. Funny how a perspective can change, and in such a short time. When I first typed my post, I had a whole different reason for doing it - I was reflecting on a recent, painful blunder I made and wanted to share my learning. Now I realize, it is not even about the specific blunder but the fact that we all make blunders and no one is exempt. For me, yet again, the huge lesson when it comes to making blunders is the common theme of "haste". Hastily made decisions in situations where I react vs take the time to respond. I know that reacting definitely has a place - like in life and death situations however, let's face it, how often are we "reacting" to situations that are not "life threatening" rather than taking a moment to pause, take a breath and maybe, literally, a step back?
After the initial sting of the blunder wore off, I took some time to reflect on just what was it that had me react the way I did. I noticed that there is a definite theme for me when I blunder. I immediately make it about me - apparently a human thing to do - and then I lose my bigger picture perspective. Then, there is an element of haste, which inevitably results in some sort of humiliation or embarrassment - again that element of making it about me. I absolutely know that all of the situations would have gone differently had I taken a moment to regroup before responding. That's the gift of 20/20 hindsight. The other gift of hindsight is to actually learn from it and move on. The trick, I am learning, is to bounce back as quickly as I can and take the learning with me.
My recent blunder caused me to miss a unique opportunity however, at the time, I didn't see it. Next time I make a blunder, yes, I said next time because if I am going to keep moving forward, blunders are inevitable, I will take a moment to broaden the frame I am giving the situation and look for the opportunities that may be there when I do that. How about you? What could you learn from your blunders?