Sometimes, it happens again and again.
Recently, I just looked back at some weeks and noticed how often I failed. And regardless what others were saying, I didn’t feel embarrassed.
Because with embarrassment comes shame. And with shame comes a devaluing of the self.
I know that I am more than my actions and my actions don’t define my value.
How about all these examples?
I came back from the countryside, having brought my DS (Darling Son) to a rugby training. It was dark and all of a sudden, I found myself on the Chiswick fly-over on the M4 instead of on the M25, direction of home. I had missed the exit. Again.
I made a coffee and spat it out. Yak. Forgot to put a capsule in the machine. Again.
When saying goodbye to my other DS at his new university, I dropped a bottle. Full of wine. Oops.
I made a double booking and had to miss that workshop. Oops.
I got a message from DS with the request to top-up his lunch account. Forgotten. Again.
I lost my favourite t-shirt. Damn.
I lost my favourite jeans. Damn.
I lost my favourite knickers. Damn.
I overdid it in the gym. Again.
I put my coffee (a nice one) in the freezer. Again.
I got smudges on my white trousers. Again.
I forgot to buy leeks for the chicken and leek pie. Again.
And this morning, instead of attending a Speed Awareness Course, I am writing at home, as I didn’t have the right ID on me. Oops.
Not too clever, organized and on top of life, I would say.
But it doesn’t bother me.
Because I have decided that all these little incidents are not important for my level of happiness. They actually contribute to it as they make me smile and laugh at myself. They give me energy and like this morning, they sometimes give me extra time. All of a sudden I had a morning free to catch up with adminl That’s a bonus.
‘It is not what happens to you, it is how you react to it that matters’ – Epictetus
And especially if it is about little things you do ‘wrong’, it is easy to beat yourself up and be critical. But what does it give you? Most likely feeling incompetent or annoyed. Is that helpful? And it gets in the way of that smile and that shrug of your shoulders, where you gently let it all fall away.
Next time something doesn’t go according to your planning, take a step back, smile, be kind to yourself and get on with your day.
Accept that as a human being you are allowed to make mistakes.
That is only natural.
Don’t allow yourself to feel embarrassed, because you didn’t live up to expectations. Whose expectations anyway? Yours? Other people’s? Culture? Walt Disney?
And certainly never let those mistakes define your worthiness.
Struggling with embarrassment? Book a call and let’s talk it through.