I feel privileged that I get to work with people, every day, that are prepared to recognise and admit their flaws, to themselves and others, not because they want sympathy but because they have finally decided it is time to change. The reality is we are all flawed, but we rarely want to face up to it. It takes real courage to do this, courage to trust that I will not judge or shame them when they choose to face their flaws, for example. It is exciting to witness this breakthrough, what in effect represents the first step towards a new, better life, for as soon as you are able to admit your flaws, you have started on the truly rewarding journey of overcoming them.
Take the example of an unnamed client, caught up in the criminal justice system. Prior to meeting him he had spent a long period of time trying to justify and rationalise his poor choices to himself and others, he was totally caught up in a cycle of lies and deceit. As we worked together, he was finally able to agree that he had let his ego get in the way of making the right choices for himself and others. He, in his own words, had ‘screwed up’ and this frank admission enabled him to let go of the guilt, the feelings of worthlessness and inferiority that he was masking.
I know him to be a highly intelligent, very kind person who made an error of judgement – a mistake. Mistakes are how we learn – however too many people choose to stay stuck to avoid facing their truth.I am so incredibly proud and happy for my client that he was able to admit to himself that he needed to change. His transformation has been remarkable. He is happier, healthier, less defensive, humbler and more successful.