We all hate getting into embarrassing situations and try avoiding them by all means, but here’s the catch! To grow better in life, sometimes we do need a reality check in the form of an embarrassing event that knocks reality into our heads, though uncomfortable, such experiences teach us some valuable lessons.
The fact that you find yourself in an embarrassing situation, indicates that something went wrong somewhere, it’s irrelevant whether you’ve created the situation for yourself consciously or by mistake, what matters is, there’s always enough room for improvement.
Now that’s a good place to start with, retrospecting your blunders not only helps you identify your flaws but ensures that you don’t repeat the same blunders in the future, humiliations make you uncomfortable, shake you up within, and compel you to radically improve yourself.
Don’t beat yourself up though, You’re not alone to go through such mortifying experiences, there are many successful people or even celebrities for that matter, who’ve tasted the beatings of humbling situations, and their list is huge! So I won’t be discussing them here.
But I’ll share one of my own experiences instead, which happened on my 2nd day of college when I was pursuing the undergraduate degree in B.Com.
Our classroom had a strength of 60 students from both sections of my group that day, making me nervous to the bone, as each student was asked to introduce themselves to the whole class, the introduction itself was brief and needed mentioning simple details like your full name, previous colleges you’ve studied in, where do you hail from, and hobbies, etc.
Turn by turn everyone familiarised themselves to the class, so did I with heavy stammering, but my share of embarrassment was yet to begin, Soon the lecturer had requested the pupils to choose a topic of their interest and speak a few lines about it to the entire class, as participation was voluntary this time, almost everyone gave it a pass, barring a few, and to my surprise, I was one among the few to speak up.
When our lecturer scanned the room twice before asking if somebody wanted to give it a try, I eagerly rose my right hand and held it high for everyone to witness.
Faces towards my left and right turned white with shock, as they did not anticipate me taking part in this activity out of all the extroverts sitting in the room, However, my optimism came down stumbling as I proceeded with my opening remarks, my legs were visibly shaking for everyone to notice, and my speech fumbled heavily as I was nervous looking at the sight in front of my eyes.
To make matters even worse, my spoken English was atrocious, to begin with, and here I was standing in front of an elite bunch of students, out of whom a majority spoke fluent English as it was their mother tongue, moreover, In a convent educational Institute where English fluency is synonymous to academic brilliance, one had to be good at it.
A room full of curious faces made me anxious at once, I was blank even before I made any point, but I decided to go ahead and give it a try, so I continued with my faltering speech, word by word sentence by sentence, I finished my talk which lasted about 5 mins, deeply embarrassed and belittled at my display of incompetence, I thought that’s it, I’ve made enough fool out of myself for the day, and I was about to start walking towards my bench.
And then, I heard a sudden burst of thundering applause from the class! it took a few seconds for me to realize that they were clapping for me! for my speech!
All my embarrassment faded away for that split second, I felt not only relieved but proud, that at least I took a chance and gave it a try when many of my peers didn’t.
Was my speech horrible? Yes, Did I stammer badly? Yes, but did I learn from that experience? also Yes!
Embarrassing experiences can be quite painful to forget, all we can do is to make the best out of the worse, the episode that I just shared here was surely not pleasing to live while it happened, but post that incident I learned to communicate better and worked hard on my soft skills instead of mourning at my limitations.
Eventually, I conducted several successful seminars and Powerpoint presentations in the college receiving appreciation from the top faculty as well as the students who were part of those sessions.
That one embarrassing moment turned me into a better public speaker. As a result, I’m confidently articulating my thoughts on several public platforms today, including YouTube.
Of course, the change didn’t take place instantly. It took a few more embarrassing experiences, hard work, commitment, and loads of practice to enhance my presentation skills.
So the point I’m trying to make here is don’t shy away from making mistakes or embarrassing yourself, because you never know how one embarrassing moment can positively change your life.
But it goes without saying, don’t try too hard to embarrass yourself at every given opportunity, especially when it’s not needed! 😛