Can we be reduced down to a single mistake?

Is It Right To Reduce Someone To The One Mistake They Made?

Have you ever been reduced to the one mistake you made?

Unavoidably, life has a way of throwing us off our horse. Rearranging a life, can turn you upside down and inside out, all because of 1 mistake.

A friend of mine, found herself unmarried and pregnant. Yet, with much anguish, she made the decision to have the baby. She became a devoted mother, sacrificing her life for her baby. She poured love, strength and kindness into the child, while working diligently to support her new found family.

Although the baby was the greatest gift in her life, it became a shackle, while she tried to date. She told me, she never knew the appropriate time to tell her date she had a child.  It was painful to keep her child a secret, but not having the courage to speak openly was worse. If love hinged on her mistake, then we must evaluate, what is love?

She met a man, who was highly principled and honorable, having many characteristics she sought and admired. She suspected this man, with all his worldly experiences and wisdom would offer her grace and understanding.  She was clearly wrong. He rejected her.

When I bumped into her the other day, I asked her if she ever caught up with Mr. Rejection. “No, he never married, but he has a child.  He had an affair with a married woman and now his baby has two dads.”

Mr. Rejection, (the man with the code of ethics), reached out to my friend years later, and said the child was his heart opener. His mistake, changed the course of his life and now seeks to accept others, rather than run to judgment. His disdain for my friends past mistake, had turned to sensitivity, appreciation and admiration.

Often times people have difficulty relating to someone else’s mistake, unless they can compare it to their own.

When I share my experience with my dates, I see eyebrows raise and mouths drop. These are the same men, who describe themselves as compassionate, understanding, and proclaim nobody is perfect!

Sometimes our mistakes or journeys are traumatic and unpleasant.  Even in feeling reduced, there is always a worthy gift. Mine is my filter. I don’t run away from my truth or mistake, for fear of rejection, I run towards it. (Maybe I am crazy?) Nobody wants to feel rejected or reduced, because it hurts.

Mistakes give way to opportunities to meet someone who has moved beyond what everyone will think, beyond he said or she said, beyond the right or wrong. When I tell my story, I meet people who do not fear adversity. They have what I want!

I told my friend, I too suffered from a Mr. Rejection, twice! It angered me, but it wasn’t fatal. Once I sorted things out mentally, I realized none of us can give what we don’t have. We get comfortable in our own gated worlds, some people fit and some don’t. For some of us, we only give compassion to those worlds we are familiar.

Events change life’s direction and enlarge heartfelt compassion. Once you’re knocked to the ground, and your lung is punctured, you will breath differently. You learn you are not the center of the world, and can focus on becoming your own best self, for the world.

If you feel reduced today for a mistake you made, you are not alone. Next time you want to reduce someone else for their mistake, stop and remember how it feels.

Mistakes impact our relationships and our professional careers. Great leaders allow them.  Take a look at the link below.

If you are interested in scheduling Holly to speak at your next event, call 704-502-7744 or email

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