The other morning, I walked into my boss’s office to chat with her. Through our conversation, I was told that I needed to take some items that I had to one of my colleagues. I foolishly opened my mouth and said, “I’m not here to serve those that need something from me. If they want it, they know where I am.” I know, not one of my most shining moments, and to be honest I am embarrassed, annoyed, and very disappointed with myself. Nothing else was said, and the conversation progressed to other topics. Within seconds of saying what I said, I had a small voice inside me telling me that I was wrong for having said what I did. I wanted to fight the voice. I wanted to justify my statement. But in reality, I knew that the voice was right. I knew that I had messed up, said something I don’t actually believe in, and showed a side of me that I am not proud of.
An hour after that conversation, I opened my email and wrote an apology to my boss for uttering those words. I expressed my disappointment in myself and in the words I chose to use. I wrote that I would never allow those words to escape my lips again. I was, and still am, disappointed in myself. However, I am grateful that I listened to that still, small voice inside that told me I was wrong. I am grateful that what I said was only between me and my boss and not in front of a group of my peers. I am grateful that my boss did not condemn me for my choice of words but allowed me the opportunity to wrestle with them. In the end, I took the items over to my colleague and apologized for not providing them sooner.
If I had not listened to that still, small voice inside, I would be living a lie, and everything I stand for would be false. My character, my reputation, my integrity was on the line, and that small voice inside helped me save face, humbled me from the inside out, and convicted me on my actions and words. I believe we all have that voice inside of us, but we fight with it. We try to justify what we have done instead of listening to that voice. We allow our pride and arrogance to overtake our character and integrity. We would rather justify being wrong than humble ourselves and do what is right.
Have you ever had moments like this, where you say or do something and know deep down that what you said or did was wrong? Did you have something inside of you telling you that you were wrong? Did you listen to the voice and do the right thing, or did you ignore that voice and justify being wrong? I have learned that the more we try to ignore or block out that small voice, the softer it becomes until it is completely muted by our pride and arrogance. In the end, we become a person who is solely focused on ourselves and will quickly play the victim card rather than take responsibility for our actions.
That voice inside of us, convicting us of our wrong actions or words, should never be ignored. It should be listened to, and we should be listening with our full attention. We should humble ourselves and realize when we have messed up. We should be quick to listen and slow to speak. We must recognize our mistakes and do what is needed to correct our wrongs. We must beat our mind and body into submission and only accept what is good and what is right from ourselves. We should run from the temptation of pride and selfishness and cling to integrity and humility. We should take ownership, and not just ownership, but extreme ownership, of our words and actions.
I encourage you, never silence the voice inside. Attune yourself to listen with full attention. Humble yourself to admit your wrongs, change your actions and mindset to be better. Be an example to those around you. Take ownership of everything and leave no room for pride and arrogance.
As always, stay humble and serve well!