Failure. Fear. Discouragement. Playing-it-safe. These are the usual suspects of the impediments of our growth.
Embarrassment too, at times.
I was at a meeting recently when I learnt how embarrassment could cage us. So here’s what happened:
1. An introvert (moi) walked into a crowded room for a meeting.
2. Said introvert had to coach herself to open up and talk to the roomful of people.
3. Introvert introduces herself and greets the key players at the meeting. She nails it. Almost.
4. One key player doesn’t hear the introvert’s greeting (?) and walks away.
5. Introvert stands with a hand stretched towards that key player, embarrassed.
6. Incident happened at the front of the meeting room. Cough.
Dreamer, has this happened to you?
My initial reaction was embarrassment. You can imagine. I wanted to disappear. I pleaded for rapture.
But wait. There’s a #7 too.
7. The Introvert laughed. Not giggled. Not in nervousness. But in a hearty genuine let-me-reintroduce-myself kind.
That moment, I understood that our response to an embarrassing situation determines whether we’d be embarrassed or not. It determines whether we’d try harder or at all. It determines growth.
Embarrassing situations are uncomfortable. And tricky. But that’s got to do with our response. It could hold us back or it could make us determined to move ahead.
The choice is ours.
What has embarrassment taught you?