If you’re in the public eye and you want to find redemption for a public mistake, there’s really only one place to go: Studio 8H in Rockefeller Center, a.k.a. the main stage of “Saturday Night Live”.
Actors who take themselves a little too seriously. Celebrities who say the wrong thing on social media. Politicians involved in some sort of scandal.
We’ve seen them all take the stage on SNL over the years. Just this weekend presidential candidate Donald Trump – a phrase that will never not be hilarious and slightly disturbing at the same time – hosted the show. Over the course of the evening the show roasted his blusterous personality, his reputation as a racist and his tendency to trash his other political candidates.
That’s the catch with coming on Saturday Night Live – you have to be willing make fun of your mistakes.
As the viewing audience we’re a lot more willing to forgive someone’s flubs if they’re willing to make fun of themselves. If we see a celebrity admitting that they made a mistake and ready to laugh at themselves about it, we love to laugh with them. Celebrities – they’re just like us!
In fact, I would go so far as to say that the ability to embrace their mistakes makes these celebrities more powerful and more influential. We’re willing to listen to what they have to say because they were willing to humiliate themselves for a moment.
I’m not saying Donald Trump is going to win the presidency because he hosted SNL. I am saying that no matter how bad his episode was (and it was atrociously unfunny) Trump came out as a winner because he was willing to make fun of his flaws.
You don’t have to be a celebrity to harness the power of embracing your mistakes. This strategy can work for any of us.
There’s a great verse in the Proverbs that says:
Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 18:12)
If you want to be successful you can’t pretend to be perfect. The facade wouldn’t last for long anyway.
Instead you have to have humility before you have honor. You have to be willing to take yourself down a peg if you want to move up the ladder of success.
As much as we would rather hide our imperfections in order to make people think more of us, the truth is being willing to make fun of our flaws allows us to connect with people on a deeper level.
Embracing your mistakes. Laughing at your past follies. The ability to do these things well harnesses trust.
You don’t have to be a celebrity in the midst of a scandal to see how meaningful this strategy can be. Whether with your family, friends or coworkers try to be more willing to laugh at your mistakes than hide from them.
Most of the time people will laugh with you, not at you, and feel a deeper connection to you because they can relate to making the same mistakes. You’ll allow people to see beyond the public facade and connect to you, the real human being, flaws and all.
Your mistakes give you meaning. If you’re willing to embrace them they won’t take away from your influence – they will expand it.
For more wisdom from the “Saturday Night Live” stage check out these posts:
How SNL Made Me A Better Youth Minister