The Do-Over

Ever wish you could go back and have a Do-Over? Rewrite a part of your history? Change the decision you made, err on a different side of caution, think before you leap?

Thinking back, I wish I could have a do-over of the time I didn’t get caught shop lifting from St Vincent de Paul. I was 8 and it was a 20c clown shaped key ring. I felt so bad about it that I gave it back the next visit and paid $5 into the donations tin to make up for it. Looking back, I wish I had been caught. The punishment would have been less than the guilt I still feel.

Then there was the time in 1994 when I asked my Dad cut my fringe to keep it out of my eyes prior to taking to the netball court. It definitely ranks right up there on the Do-Over wish list. Needless to say, it’s hard for a fringe to get in your eyes when there is only 1cm left!

There’s also the moment in my early 20s when a good friend summoned up the courage to ask me out on a date and I said no. I was so afraid of what others would think, that I would lose a good friendship, and even though I wanted to say yes, I was too scared. I still wonder what might have been there…

If you think about it, I’m sure you can come up with your own list of Do-Over moments too. But when you do, try to think back on them with a new lens.

See, for me, if I hadn’t made the mistake of shoplifting, aged 8, and felt the intense feeling of disappointment in myself, I may never have learnt to appreciate saving hard earned dollars for something I wanted.

If my Dad hadn’t cut my hair so terribly that Saturday morning, I would never have heard my best friend tell me she thought it wasn’t that bad and it would look okay once I washed it. This is still the strongest, most important example of friendship I have because she said it with such kindness, love and support.

And if I had said yes to that date instead of letting fear take a hold, perhaps I might have never had the courage to set off by myself and experience the most amazing around-the-world travel and met the people I have.

We don’t get Do-Over’s for ourselves. All we get is a lesson for another day. What you can do though, is pass your Do-Over on to someone else. Share your experience, the lesson you learned, the feelings you felt, with someone else. Perhaps someone in your team or crew will face a similar situation to the one you did? Give your Do-Over to them so they can learn from your experience and chose a path armed with your tried-and-tested knowledge.

Mentoring is a lot like that – a series of conversations where someone shares their Do-Overs with someone else. As the recent recipient of some fantastic Do-Over advice, I can highly recommend it.

Leadership Challenge
Share a story of experience with someone in your team. You can choose 1:1 or with the whole group it’s up to you.

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