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that’s embarrassing

Hey sweet friends! I can feel it coming – I know it… my ears turn red and I feel the heat rise from my toes all the way up to my face. I might give a partial smile. Yep, that’s embarrassment! We all know what that is like! I have talked to several clients recently about self-esteem and building confidence. We all struggle with it at some time, but some of us just don’t like to admit it. I love talking to teenagers because they are sometimes a bit more open about their fears, including feelings of inferiority.

This week, I pulled up to a red light with my three girls in the back seat, singing from their car seats. We were jamming out to Britt Nicole. Linley especially likes her songs after she saw her sing them live at Winter Jam this year. I am dancing in my seat and singing as I pull up next to a truck, unaware he looked over my direction. We met eyes and he gave me a slow nod and looked back at the light. I laughed out loud, although it was a little embarrassing, but I would rather see someone singing next to me at a light than someone frowning – there is too much of that in this world!

I have had so many embarrassing moments that make me question myself, it is difficult to narrow this down. High school – ah, that lovely four years – made for embarrassment and silly moments. Let me take you to my senior year speech class. Praise the Lord that He allowed my friends to make up most of my class, yet it did not make presenting speeches that year any less intimidating. I wrote out every word on my one allowed index card for each speech, knowing I would get counted off for doing that, since we were only supposed to write bullet points to enable us to speak more naturally. I did not care. My overall vision of fear was I would lose my train of thought and run out of the classroom and never go back to school. Nope, that picture in my head was way worse than a few points off for writing every word out.

Day of impromptu speech. Yay. Or not. I cried the night before every speech. This one especially! I did not volunteer to take a turn, but when I was called, my friends were supportive. I received the topic of playgrounds. Okay, I thought to myself, I can do this. I can talk about playgrounds for three minutes. The teacher started the timer and off I go…for about thirty seconds. Then my mind went blank. You know, under pressure, there are only so many things to say about playgrounds. No, I did not make three minutes, but today, it does not even matter. I passed the class, graduated, and I am still alive. I even enjoy speaking to people today! I never thought I would say that!

I talk to many people in counseling sessions about feelings of inferiority or dread about upcoming events. People in school dread presentations. All one can do is the best they can do! That is all anyone can ask! God wants us to be a good steward of the gifts He gives, so when we study, prepare, and practice, we can let it go and know He will take care of us. I also ask people what the worst outcome that can happen. This often removes a large amount of fear, since we fear the unknown. When we face it and are prepared, we can feel much calmer.

Mainly, we can realize who we are to God. He knew us before we were born and loved us. He planned all our days before one of them came to be! (Psalm 139) Wow! We are special and unique. This comforting knowledge enables us to not take ourselves too seriously. If something embarrassing happens, smile and laugh! Everyone has embarrassing moments…even the popular kids at school…even the CEO of the company. The ability to laugh at oneself is a great skill that helps others see confidence even in the midst of a mistake. People gravitate toward that. People say a lot about self-confidence, but I think true authentic confidence comes from knowing who our Creator is. A smile from the confidence that only comes from God is truly attractive. Smile this week! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh and enjoy life – we only get one chance!



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