The Courage To Admit, Acknowledge, Accept And Apologize

When we think of the word courage, we often think of “break into battle” types of scenarios.

We can envision someone facing danger or difficulty with strength, commitment and confidence.couragetoaccept

We can think of words like bravery, perseverance, strength, fortitude and grit.

But there’s another kind of courage that some people actually mistake for weakness: the courage to admit failure or mistake, the courage to acknowledge a wrong-doing, the courage to accept circumstances beyond one’s control, and the courage to apologize when an apology is warranted.

I vividly remember a former colleague of mine whose take on courage and success was vastly different than mine.

I was working on a big project in a fairly small office. I knew that this project was really quite beyond the scope of one person, but it had been assigned to me. I labored away as I watched others in the office whose workloads appeared to be quite manageable, when I thought: “This is silly. I can be a martyr, or I can ask for help.”

I approached the district manager and simply asked: “Is there someone who might be able to take on a portion of this project? Not only do I think it would benefit the results, but I do believe that the magnitude of the project really needs a ‘sum of the parts greater than the whole’ approach, and I could really use a hand.”

The manager was receptive. I got the help I needed.

But my colleague? She said to me, “What an admission of weakness and failure.”

My response? “Quite the contrary. What an admission of strength.”

That incident happened over 25 years ago, but it has always stuck in my mind as a perfect example of courage…the courage to ask for help when you need it, to not allow ego to prevail, and to ensure the best possible outcomes for any endeavor.

It takes courage to:

  • Admit and acknowledge when you’re wrong.
  • Apologize when you’ve hurt, offended or caused someone hardship.
  • Stand alone when your values, integrity and beliefs are challenged unfairly.
  • Be humble when others who are less capable, competent or productive seem to get all the glory. Life sure ain’t fair sometimes.
  • Take a contrary stance, not for the sake of being a contrarian, but because it’s right.
  • Lead without need for recognition, rewards or accolades.
  • And some days, it takes courage to simply face another day, another challenge when you feel all alone.

Courage isn’t just about stepping forward. Sometimes it’s about stepping back, or stepping out of the way. Allowing muddy waters to clear. Responding, not reacting.

Quiet courage isn’t always easy, because those who shout loudest and who demand the spotlight will surely get it.

In a world of bigger-faster-louder, we need leaders who have the courage to go about their work in a humble, service-oriented way. Leaders who know that it is more important to shine the light on others, rather than demand the spotlight for themselves.

Accolades, awards, recognition and appreciation are wonderful. But they should be the result, not the goal. It takes the courageous soul to accept and recognize that because, after all, we’re human: we like to be rewarded and recognized for the good that we do.

I’ll end with a quote from Mary Anne Radmacher:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

Kaarina Dillabough

Kaarina Dillabough

Business Life Coach at Decide2Do
Kaarina is a business/life coach living in Ontario. For over 25 years her high-voltage energy, expertise and experience has inspired those she has worked with to reach beyond their grasp, to attain great things in business and in life. A former Olympic sports colour commentator and coach, Kaarina parlayed her coaching skills from the gym floor to the boardroom, working with business owners to improve their profitability and prosperity. In doing so, she has seen people grow both personally and professionally. Kaarina is known as an inspiring motivational speaker in areas such as branding, marketing, business growth strategies, and personal growth and prosperity. She is a passionate, seasoned coach and accountability partner with a proven track record, who loves nothing more than helping people achieve their goals in business and in life.
Kaarina Dillabough
Kaarina Dillabough

Comments

comments

48 Comments

  • May 17, 2014

    KDillabough

    bdorman264 Thanks Agent 86: and I’m checkin’ out that avatar!

  • May 17, 2014

    bdorman264

    KDillabough Get a haircut, huh? Hola…

  • May 17, 2014

    KDillabough

    bdorman264 I’m likin’ the look: must be for the new “girlfriend” right?

  • May 17, 2014

    bdorman264

    KDillabough Si’ she digs it…:).

  • May 17, 2014

    KDillabough

    bdorman264 I thought so:)

  • May 17, 2014

    KDillabough

    jackdrsm Many thanks Jack:) Happy weekend to you! We have Victoria Day long wknd here

  • May 17, 2014

    KDillabough

    mssackstein Many thanks Starr: have a great weekend!

  • May 17, 2014

    mssackstein

    KDillabough You’re welcome. You too

  • May 17, 2014

    KDillabough

    janetcallaway Thanks so much Janet: always appreciated.

  • May 17, 2014

    CatharineSymble

    JohnAguiar KDillabough gingerconsult Love this. “Courage doesn’t always roar…”

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    CatharineSymble JohnAguiar gingerconsult Thanks so much!

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    KellyMcCormick_ Thanks Kelly: happy weekend to you:)

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    Spafloating Thanks Pamela: wishing you a wonderful Sunday

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    biz_works Many thanks for sharing this:)

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    ThinDifference Thanks Jon, as always 🙂

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    timbo1973 Thanks so much Tim: much appreciated:)

  • May 18, 2014

    biz_works

    KDillabough pleasure – always good to co-operate and share good things!

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    biz_works Ditto that:)

  • May 18, 2014

    KDillabough

    MelissaOnline Thanks so much Melissa: happy Sunday to you:)

  • May 18, 2014

    timbo1973

    KDillabough You’re welcome Kaarina. Have you had a good weekend?

  • May 19, 2014

    KDillabough

    timbo1973 It’s Victoria Day long weekend here, so I continue to enjoy a holiday Monday:)

  • May 19, 2014

    KDillabough

    shawmu Many things Shawn:)

  • May 19, 2014

    KDillabough

    CASUDI Thanks Casudi: I’m enjoying a long weekend here in Canada:) Hope you had a great weekend.

  • May 19, 2014

    KDillabough

    TedRubin Many thanks Ted: I appreciate the share:)

  • May 19, 2014

    KDillabough

    bowden2bowden Thanks so much Randy. It’s Victoria Day long weekend here: hope your weekend was full of fun.

  • May 19, 2014

    KDillabough

    JRBuckley68 gingerconsult TedRubin Thanks: much appreciated!

  • May 20, 2014

    KDillabough

    scott_elumn8 Thanks Scott: hope your week is off to a great start!

  • May 20, 2014

    KDillabough

    thehrgoddess Thanks for the share Jane: I always appreciate it:)

  • May 20, 2014

    KDillabough

    RenildeDeWit Many thanks Renilde: hope your week is off to a great start:)

  • May 20, 2014

    thehrgoddess

    KDillabough My pleasure to share, Kaarina!!

  • May 20, 2014

    timbo1973

    KDillabough It was here in Scotland too. My wife was at work though. I hope you had a lovely day off!

  • May 20, 2014

    KDillabough

    timbo1973 I did. spent the days mulching garden beds:) http://twitter.com/KDillabough/status/468736728274980864/photo/1

  • May 20, 2014

    timbo1973

    KDillabough Looks great Kaarina. Springs definitely blooming!

  • May 20, 2014

    KDillabough

    AlliPolin Thanks Alli:) Look fwd to when we can reschedule our Skype. Will be in touch:)

  • May 21, 2014

    KDillabough

    SocialMediaSean Many thanks for sharing this Sean 🙂

  • May 22, 2014

    KDillabough

    JasonLauritsen Thanks Jason, for the share 🙂

  • May 22, 2014

    KDillabough

    ContemporaryVA Many thanks for sharing this 🙂

  • May 22, 2014

    KDillabough

    V_N_O Thanks Richard, for the share:)

  • May 22, 2014

    KDillabough

    profkrg Many thanks Kenna 🙂

  • May 23, 2014

    KDillabough

    JennGHanford Thanks Jenn, and happy Friday to you!

  • May 23, 2014

    KDillabough

    mikehenrysr Thanks, as always, for the share 🙂 Have a fab Friday!

  • May 23, 2014

    KDillabough

    DinahLiversidge Many thanks Dinah: have a great day!

  • May 23, 2014

    KDillabough

    circlecast Thanks for sharing this Bryan 🙂

  • May 23, 2014

    circlecast

    KDillabough Oh any time

  • May 24, 2014

    KDillabough

    TanveerNaseer Thanks Tanveer: hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  • May 24, 2014

    KDillabough

    ruhanirabin Thanks for sharing this Ruhani.

  • May 24, 2014

    ruhanirabin

    KDillabough hi most welcome 🙂

  • May 29, 2014

    KDillabough

    TBLepi gingerconsult V_N_O Thanks so much for sharing this:)