How to Course Correct After Making a Mistake

Posted by Precious Jewel on

“If I continue coming to you, will my hair be as long as Miss Precious' hair?” My lovely charm school girl, Miss Addy, asked my stylist/favorite big cousin this question while getting her hair serviced earlier this week. I could not help but to smile. The question really warmed my heart.

I have a formerly distant cousin that I am now getting to know who is six years old. The first time I met her, she was four. At that time, the first sentiment she ever expressed to me was “You’re so pretty!!!”

I have not seen her much since, but I recently received the opportunity to get to know her more since April due to her and her sister registering for my Princess Tiara Lipgloss Party. By this time, my regular charm school girls already knew one another so they questioned who my two cousins “the new girls” were. After admitting that they're my cousins, the other girls gasped in awe “you’re related to Miss Precious?!!!!”
When my cousins expressed this to me, I blushed. My charm school girls, including my cousins, truly consider me to be a star! Each of them really admire me, which often leaves me speechless.

On Monday, after our Purses and Pearls workshop, the six year old cousin said “I'd rather attend your school over my current school.” I try to remind the girls that I am not a regular academic school, but the goal is to have a brick and mortar in the future, offering courses in etiquette, beauty, academics, strategy, and athletics like fencing, field hockey, golf, tennis, riding, and more!

Not only do my students admire me, but other adults feel the need to present their best self to me as well, even though I do not have that expectation of them. For instance, I had a parent who was interested in registering her daughter for Charm School. She recognized me out in public and apologized for her appearance (which was not needed!). Many apologize to me for their appearance when it is not pristine and I frequently forget why. Then I remember and I remind them that I am not judging.

Not only do others have a subconscious expectation to present themselves in their best light to me, but many have expectations of me as well----long before I became a certified etiquette consultant. With little room for error, I have always had to be “shiny, prissy, and perfect,” which often gets overwhelming for me. Even as a child, I was never really given much room to make mistakes.
Following my collegiate years, I would watch my peers, cousins and many others my age go out, have fun, and take caution to wind, while I was stuck presenting a more than perfect image. While others were able to engage in underage drinking, cursing, having slip ups, and sometimes oversharing on social media, I couldn’t dare. Since the age of eight, I had to "know better” but do I always know better? 

A few years ago, the expectation became so unbearable that I rebranded and "started over." I decided to make a career change, created new social media accounts with NO professional contacts, and I started living life the way I saw fit (not recklessly but with a little more enjoyment).
For the first time ever, I had my first drink in my mid 20s ((and I still haven't experienced being "drunk" yet)), I allowed myself the grace to make mistakes, and I engaged in more fun.
I stopped making my life solely about career progression, titles, and my network, and more about enjoyment, friendship, and connectedness. Most importantly, I stopped allowing everyone to have access to me. I did not always need unsolicited advice. I told myself "gone are the days of striving for perfection." For that reason, many were not aware of the fact that I have been coaching etiquette virtually for three years now.

Funny enough, I did not want to become an etiquette consultant when the recommendation was first presented to me. I told my ex that these were my years to finally have fun--- not to present a false perfect image. He convinced me that I could do both without being fake (and that he would pay for the courses) so I obliged. I have enjoyed this journey ever since!

Because I now operate an in person Charm School, there is an image I am forced to maintain. Unfortunately, it means others will place expectations on me to be perfect, which is impossible, but I will try my best to be the best me in the best way possible.

Last weekend I made a terrible mistake, especially for someone young girls look up to. I exchanged very harsh words with someone. I exchanged words that I have never EVER uttered before and I now feel really terrible.
Not only was the behavior unbecoming of a true lady, but they were not words that should be said to someone I care about. What I stated was stated out of hurt that I now realize had been brewing for years, but that does not make the words that I exchanged ok. Not only were my statements made out of hurt from feeling abandoned years ago, but they were stated during a period of being overwhelmed, a not-so-amazing birthday weekend, calamity, and also navigating pain from that time of the month (having fibroids does not help at all)!
Lately I have been really beating myself up about the mistake I made, and it will likely take some time for me to truly forgive myself for what I said.
On Friday, a lovely friend contacted me to tell me that she would be swinging by to take me with her to Chipotle. At Chipotle, we chatted about my mistake, she offered words of encouragement, and then she suggested that I host a future workshop for my Charm School girls on how to course correct after making a major mistake.
I found her recommendation to be amazing, so I would like to start by sharing recommendations in blog form first, which are steps I myself will also be taking. 
Below are a few tips I think are perfect for course correcting after making a major mistake:
Continue reading for Blog Access and Private Society Members. 

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