Have you ever wished the ground would open up and swallow you?
Did you ever want to run away and hide?
Have you ever thought; this moment is one I just want to forget ever happened?
It’s pretty common, yet quite unbearable.
I had offered to tell a story. I stood up in front of close to 100 people and the energy was all wrong. I suppose it was a combination of family dynamics (it was an extended family event), unclear expectations (they were waiting for the meal to be served!) and alcohol (them not me!)
Whatever the reasons, I bombed. Totally! I wanted to crawl under the carpet, I wanted to simply disappear.
The truth is, even as I write this, I feel uncomfortable.
But I’m glad it happened.
No, this is not some kind of vindictive, family pay-back!
It’s not a professional death-wish.
It is, in fact, a reminder of our vulnerability.
We are never completely immune to totally screwing up and it’s good to remember that!
If I get too blasé before a webinar or too confident before a business meeting, I reckon it’s tempting the gods.
Of course, I don’t belief I’ll be struck down in some way.
I’ll end up striking myself down.
I’ll make mistakes and I won’t give enough of myself to actually do the work and get the job done as well as I can.
If I don’t have to make an effort to really show up then I’m not really present.
When I go on stage or speak in front of a group (yes, even a small one!) I get nervous.
Sometimes, I get VERY nervous. And I’m delighted that it happens.
You see, the minute I stop getting nervous before I speak, I’ll get worried. If I’m not nervous, then I’ll know that I’m not giving my best.
If I’m not even nervous then clearly I’m not challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and really serve others.
So when I start feeling mildly uncomfortable. When I start feeling the usual butterflies in my stomach and a kind of intense focus and sensitivity to everything around me, then I know I’m nearly ready.
I know that this is the state, for me, that gets me out of my safety zone and really striving to serve. This is that way I can totally show up, to contribute and add value.
I’m not comfortable talking about my failures, but I have to.
As a reformed (maybe reforming!!) perfectionist, it’s not fun admitting my many mistakes, but I have to.
That’s the real world. It’s the playground where we get to really live. It’s the only way to learn and grow and keep developing.
Isn’t that what life’s all about?
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