Facing up to the truth

A vital stage of growing into adulthood (for some a lifelong journey) is accepting that we’re not always right, or that we mightn’t be the best person for the role, or that we just don’t have enough votes.

If we’re never wrong, and others are rarely right, then we’ve either retreated into a tiny zone of competence or we’ve lost a functioning relationship with reality.

As professionals, we generate both waste and suffering when we prioritise saving face over solving problems. 

When we feed the mythology of our own superiority, we’re using up valuable time which could otherwise be applied to improving our craft or serving those who need us.

There’s an old line from ice hockey coaching that tells us “if we play for the name on the front of the jersey, then everybody will remember the name on the back”. And it’s true for us too, in the important work we do as professionals. We often get this the wrong way round.

When we are fully in service of others, it helps to disarm our own ego and frees us up to work at our best. Recognition tends to follow service, even if we sometimes wish for the opposite.


This post was adapted from one of Aodan’s Sunday morning newsletters, eagerly anticipated by hundreds of readers. Give yourself the gift of that weekly wisdom by signing up here.