There are two kinds of embarrassment in my mind: the kind that makes you feel clumsy and the kind that makes you feel stupid. Actually, according to Wikipedia, there are several more, but these are the ones that affect me most often. And this week, I actually experienced both.
It doesn’t bother me too much being clumsy. Sure, I don’t like tripping over things or running into something. And when I do, I feel embarrassed and probably blush, but I also will most likely laugh. Even with what happened this week, whenever I think about it, I can’t help but smile and shake my head and laugh at the whole situation. And I no longer feel embarrassed about it. A little silly, maybe, but not embarrassed.
But feeling stupid… that really gets to me. There are few things worse, in my opinion, than feeling stupid. And when I do, I shut down, I get defensive, and then I start obsessing and after I while I have a hard time thinking about anything else.
I think these feelings are especially apparent this week as I head back for my second semester of grad school. (Even though that’s not where anything happened.) But I do have a fear of not being good enough and not being as smart as the other people in my program. I feel like everyone else in my class understands how to speak “academically” and I have completely forgotten how to be in that frame of mind.
I don’t get it. Why do I let these little things, that other people likely don’t remember an hour later, get to me so much?
There’s actually a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that says, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” And it’s really true. So why do I feel this way? This isn’t how it is supposed to be. You should never let other people dictate how you feel and how you see yourself. I know this. I just don’t always live by it.
We never want to give ourselves a break. Everyone else is allowed to mess up, but any time that we do, it’s unforgivable. At least that how I feel about myself a lot of the time. And it’s so unfair. That’s something I hope to change this year. Giving myself a break every now and then.
You are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.