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Sunday, March 1, 2015

How Embarrassing Myself on a Regular Basis has Made My Life Better

In high school I found myself surrounded by a lot of people who seemed to have it all figured out.  People with brains and beauty, unlimited athletic ability who always said the right thing.  People who seemed to live their lives with grace and ease and I longed to be like them.  But it just wasn't for me.  I was constantly embarrassing myself at every turn.

Even now I am habitually clumsy, dropping things and injuring myself on a daily basis (see the great gravy spillage of 2015) and I seem incapable of keeping less than intelligent thoughts or questions to myself.  Although I haven't acquired any more grace since high school, and I hardly ever say the right thing, I believe I have changed in a way that is more important than all of that.

I no longer desire to be something other than what I am, because through countless embarrassing moments, I have been empowered.  I no longer dread putting myself out there, I no longer fear saying stupid things or being caught in a clumsy act.  And because I no longer care about embarrassing myself, I no longer waste my time refusing to ask questions or ask for help when I need it.  When I know that the worst that can happen is that I will embarrass myself, I know now that that is nothing to fear, and I am more willing and eager to take risks.

  The truth is the more I embarrassed myself, the more times I was teased or laughed at for some silly, minimal thing I did or said, the easier it got, and the more humble I became.  I know I am not perfect, but now perfection is not something I desire.  Now, I like to enjoy my days and make people laugh, and I have found that a little embarrassment can result in both.

The way I see it, when you feel embarrassment you are giving the power of your self esteem to another person.  I found that once I let go of the anxiety and fear I had about what other people thought of me and what they might say about me when I wasn't around, I regained that power.  Now my self esteem comes solely from my own actions, not others opinions of how I look or what I say.  My value comes from knowing that every day I am trying to be the best version of myself and I believe that a few embarrassing moments now and then are a vital part of becoming that better person.


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