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Guiding principles #5 - Making a difference

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

The eagle eyed amongst you will, I suspect, have already noticed my 'lapsus calamum' with my blogs over the past few weeks! You will first have realised that this is the second 'guiding principle #5' blog...just as you will have clocked that I have written two blogs about my principle of 'connectedness'! Or perhaps this isn't something that you had twigged? Just like me. It was only as I went to write this weeks effort that I spotted the error of my ways and felt a momentary sense of panic as I saw my mistake.

After the initial panic had subsided, my thoughts turned to how I could correct myself and put things 'right'. How on earth could I not notice I had written about the same principle twice? What was I thinking, or rather what was I not thinking, when I ploughed ahead writing the same words over again? How stupid am I? And so the story could have gone on. If I had let it. If I had allowed myself to get swamped by the feelings of doubt, inadequacy, fallibility, imperfection that flooded in as soon as I noticed my error. A familiar story that I know I have told myself on many, many occasions, and I am guessing a story that is familiar to many of you.

In that moment, I found myself recognising that I had a choice. I could choose to cover my mistake, delete one or other of the posts, rename the blogs and carry on with this piece of writing like nothing was unusual. I could have done, and for a moment I thought about it. Yet then my head became flooded with thoughts around courage, failure, growth and learning, and my mindset shifted. I reminded myself that I am human and that we all make mistakes along our way; some bigger than others, but mistakes nonetheless.

So I decided to leave my blogs as they are. To acknowledge my error, recognise my mistake, and then accept my own fallibility as simply part of being human...and perhaps most importantly for me right now, I decided to allow tell myself that this was all OK. Mistakes are all part of learning and growing and discovering new things - about ourselves, about the world, about others - and to acknowledge this and be able to move positively forward from these moments is good. None of is are perfect...however much we might strive to find that mythical place!

Anyway, back to this weeks 'guiding principle', which is actually number 5!

MAKING A DIFFERENCE...for me it means that:

“I believe that every interaction I have with someone, however small, has the potential to influence their life or thinking in a positive way. I consciously ensure that every contact with others reflects this belief and I always enter into a conversation or connection with positive intent and the desire to make a difference. I want people to feel great about themselves and develop a strong sense of self-esteem and pride in what they do. I am caring and compassionate and genuinely interested in others, the stories that they have to tell, ideas they want to share and dreams they would love to dream. I will make time and space to listen with kindness and ensure that the impact I leave upon an individual, group, team or organisation is a positive one. I am emotionally intelligent and fully aware of my potential to influence and I will use that knowledge with care, consideration and consistency.”

My commitment to making a difference through everything I do is by:

  • Acting with kindness, care and compassion. Always.

  • Taking an interest in what people have to say, the stories they want to share and the dreams they would love to dream

  • Being supportive and gently challenging in order to help people become great

  • Understanding the influence that I have and using it wisely and considerately

  • Behaving consistently and in line with my values

  • Believing in the power of a dream and equipping people with the tools they might need to chase their dreams

So yes, I messed up my blog posts (most probably because I was rushing to do too much in a short space of time), but in the grand scheme of things, its OK. I realised my error, owned it as my own, held my hands up and acknowledged it, then shared my story in the hope that by sharing my experience, I may help others to accept that (as I paraphrase the English poet Alexander Pope) 'to err is human, to forgive [yourself and others] is divine'.

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