Lesson in Humility

Last week was a hard one. It started out well but took a nose dive on Tuesday. The worst part of it? It was no one's fault but my own. Completely and totally. I made a mistake at work that went out, literally, to the world. It wasn't part of a collaborative effort, it was all mine. It even had my name on it. I then spent the rest of the week in clean up mode, after of course my boss and her boss came up with the solution. I'm writing this not to look for sympathy, but to share what I learned out of the experience.

I took a humility walk. The experience exposed some false pride I had in myself. There's nothing wrong with taking pride in one's work, nor in having pride in one's skills and abilities. But sometimes we need the reminder that none of us are above mistakes, or infallible. I've always heard the adage "measure twice, cut once" - but I didn't. I thought I had created the database filter correctly (even though I'd never done one completely by myself before) and didn't wait to have it checked by someone more experienced. The result was spending a day and a half on cleanup in addition to my regular responsibilities. It was exhausting, both emotionally and physically.

I experienced kindness. No one said, "You're an idiot!, or You are in so much trouble!" I didn't even get in trouble for making the mistake.

I learned that hiding doesn't help. What I did get reprimanded for was not reaching out as soon as I realized the problem so that the solution could be found and implemented sooner. I needed other people to help me. Though I got into the situation by myself, I couldn't fix it on my own.

I was reminded that my strength comes from my faith in God. Prayer was my comfort when there was no one to blame but myself.

I'm glad last week is behind me.

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