The Strength to Admit

May 21, 2011

Have you ever been wrong?

The expected answer is “Of course.”

And now comes the clincher. What do you do when you know you’re wrong?

In a talk I gave for my friends in the software industry, I prompted the prestigious audience and said, “You have to say the 3 most important words. What are they?”

And then my friend Ricky Gumaru of PMAP blurted out the 3 words, “It’s Your Fault!”

And I laughed like crazy.

Everyone wants to be right. Some people will do anything to be right, even if they’re wrong.
Why is it that being right is such a big thing with some people?

Can’t they be wrong? Can’t they be human?

Motivational speaker Brian Parsley says: “Here’s the big question: Who cares if you’re right? You teach your children from an early age to apologize when they’re wrong because it’s the right thing to do. Yet, as adults, you forget this basic principle.
I’ve seen adults make a scene in an office environment “defending their rightness.” I’m not implying you should back down from your principles, but most arguments are more about ego than facts.”

And Brian is right.

There are advantages in admitting you’re wrong.

Strength of character.

    Only secure and confident people are strong enough to admit their mistakes. Insecure people insist on being right all the time. The moment they admit their mistakes and rectify it, they learn from it and their character is built.

    Sterling reputation.

      What is worth more than money? A good name. Even the Bible says that a good name is worth more than gold and silver. A damaged reputation can take years to build back if destroyed. People respect honest people who are big enough to admit their mistakes. It is a show of strength as the person exhibits a willingness to take responsibility for his actions.

      Increased Respect.

        There’s a misconception that if you tell people you made a mistake they won’t trust you anymore. The opposite is the reality. People will trust you more because they know you’re willing to tell the truth whether it’s in your favor or not.

        So guess what? You messed up. And now that you know the advantages in admitting you are wrong what should you do?

        Here are a few suggestions:

        Admit your mistake and get over it.

          The ability to admit you are mistaken is a great display of strength and character. But equally important is your ability to move on and overcome. When you try to cover it up with lame excuses or blaming others, you lose your credibility. If you make a mistake that impacts someone else in a less than favorable way, do both of you a favor by letting him or her know.

          Give people permission.

          Brian Parsley says: “Most people don’t admit their mistakes because of fear. They’re afraid they won’t be forgiven. If someone admits a mistake to you, let them know it’s okay. Share with them a mistake you’ve made in the past. This one act can give your relationship a bigger boost than years of no conflict. It shows you care and allows them to be human. If you don’t think you’re going to have a long-term relationship, still give them the dignity you would want back from someone if you admitted your mistake.” So be gracious. There are 2 certainties in life. No it’s not death and taxes.

          The 2 certainties in life are these:

          1. There is a God and
          2. You are not Him so be gracious.

          There is no such thing as a perfect person. There are only stupid people who pretend to be perfect. Do not trust them. They are charlatans. These people should be crucified on the cross. And so get real and face the fact that you will make mistakes. It’s all a part of growing as an individual. Many of my life’s most valuable lessons come from the mistakes I have committed. And even as I learn from my own mistakes I need to be alert and learn from the mistakes of others too. Not to spite them but to learn from them.

          Life is too short. You just don’t have the time to make all the mistakes you can learn from. Smart people learn from their own mistakes.  Smarter people learn from the mistakes of others.

          This Post Has 16 Comments

          1. light

            this is so inspiring..There are things in life that even though you know it in yourself you still needed someone to tell it to your face…Thanks to Mr. Francis you really touched people lives.

          2. Fritzie

            Thanks for yet another very beautiful post! =)

          3. Gigi

            that hardest thing in life is saying sorry…and often times they don’t mean it …But looking at the other side of the coin, you made me ponder on this…I appreciate it and this is the 1st time I heard of you and read your articles…Cheers and more power. I intend to read more of your articles..

          4. cindy

            very inspiring..i love reading this kind of article.hope to have read more! 🙂

          5. carlo

            this is so nice,,a good way to start a day with a real, heart warming message.. jeep it up mr. francis.. i like this ” 1.There is a God and 2.You are not Him so be gracious”.. cool.. more power

          6. vic campos

            Admitting mistakes is not the end of the world but to realize to improved…inspiring article.

          7. tonyboy - aboutofws

            This is what I needed to hear today. I just committed a mistake lately and it’s irritating that people would try to keep reminding of it as if they don’t commit one. And yes, I learned from that mistake and It’s uplifting to know that it has positive effect to character.

            You’re extraordinary Mr. Kong

          8. Rein

            It is always difficult to admit when you’re wrong. But when you do, the feeling is intense. Relief is the greatest emotion next to being happy. But aside from admitting that you’ve done something wrong, it is also important to have the maturity to grow from that experience.

            Great article!

          9. larona rolando

            more often we are stucked to what we have and closed our doors to innovations, i appreciate so much your views mr kong

          10. yahoo

            i am inspired in each sentence. no death no tax and certain of being a lesser to the lord, oh i suppose its true in a radical realist vision. harsh you are!
            also its funny i do believe in perfection, there is an avant garde of atunement to the frontiers of human existence and exploration. thats the currect quote unquote perfection of totalitarian humanity. i guess whEN humanity becomes liberated truly, perfection could cease as true liberation would be totalitary equality, which is not something which need be unionised.; that is interesting , the ways things are going its often said.

            being totalitarian humanity loads of other perfections exist too. perfection is an interesting topic. about the other topic, which was it? oh yeah mistake, i guess i have made alot of mistake and i suppose gained no credibilty but actually thats something which i can address. thanks for this. smile

          11. Philip

            I’ve commit mistakes so many times in the past and Im the kind of person who always make a point of view of “righteousness” to everybody even its my fault.

            But even i let everybody agree to my argument, i feel inside there is something wrong. My conscience give a way for the metamorphosis inside of me to admit my mistakes first to myself and have a strength to share it and know “its ok” to be human.

          12. Pam

            I had an encounter with tha same situation involving people we care about and it’s very close to this topic. There are always two sides of the story the other blaming and finding fault while the other side stop explaining to counter such fantastic stories. Who do you think won and have more believable story? I think the one who gives inconsistent account is questionable but can’t tell the root of the problem so i can’t make judgement. While other people got hooked on the sensational story of deceit, intrigue, power stuggle and money issue it seems hopeless to find the real truth. I’m just so sorry story won’t close unless one of the person concern wake up from the dead. So depressing……

          13. Nadine

            I am a person who is used to wallowing in self-doubt and who easily bolts when hemmed in by any one. That is if I am at fault and corrected, scrutinized, commented on with something I don’t favor… But this one struck me so strongly to have an instant realization that I am not respected any lesser if I make mistakes. This got to me in very positive and consoling manner. Yes, I am consoled by it. Gave me the dose of consolation that I needed for the day. Thank you. Meant a lot.

          14. cherry

            Sir, you certainly inspired me. God bless and more power!

          15. chrisdaoanis

            Thanks for this, Sir Francis. Another good thoughts to start the day!

          Leave a Reply