The Lance Armstrong news frenzy proves that we’re all imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. We all suffer from setbacks and regrets that come back to haunt us. Yet, with the right Mindful steps, we can acknowledge our wrongdoings and seek redemption.
Lance Armstrong, a testicular cancer survivor, seven-time Tour de France champion and humanitarian is suffering from his own setbacks. After years of steadfast denials, he has admitted to taking EPO, a “testosterone and human growth hormone.” He has already lost his seven titles and his endorsements. He’s also brought a cloud of uncertainty around the Livestrong Foundation. Yet, Armstrong isn’t the first public figure to suffer from such a fate.
The Academy Award-nominated Robert Downey Jr. had a successful acting career that was nearly ruined by drug abuse and jail time. NFL quarterback Michael Vick had a soaring career before going to jail for an illegal dog fighting ring. Though they struggled, these two have redeemed themselves. Downey Jr. has become known for his popular Iron Man films and Vick has spoken out against dog fighting and successfully restarted his football career.
We can all learn from these lessons. We may fall, but it’s possible to rise above our mistakes.
Listed below are some tips to help stage your comeback:
- Take responsibility. Truly reflect on your wrongdoings. Question your intentions and reflect on the people you may have hurt in the process (including yourself).
- Rediscover yourself. Sometimes when we face hardships we forget who we are. Once you’ve taken responsibility for your mistakes consider doing some self-analyzing activities, like a “Who Am I?” journal, to balance your faults and triumphs.
- Release yourself. Acknowledge that you made a mistake, but don’t hold on to your regret. Alex Lickerman, M.D. says that carrying our guilt around can cause us to lose “faith in our own goodness and even the health of our self-esteem.”
- Apologize. Apologizing is never easy. We may apologize the wrong way or for the wrong reasons. Make sure your apology is from the heart; don’t make excuses. Remember that you may not be forgiven right away and you may still have to earn back their trust.
- Be the change. A setback is a perfect time for a comeback. We can change our priorities and life goals to reflect the positive changes we hope to make in our lives. It’s a chance to improve ourselves for the future.