Testing times are those difficult times in which we encounter difficulties initially with negative feelings. The challenge is making those difficulties a prime source of positive energy and source of empowerment.
Negative feelings vary in intensity. I am focusing in this article on embarrassment that turns faces into the color of red tomatoes.
We have all experienced embarrassment. Pouring coffee on your shirt, slipping while talking, forgetting what you wanted to say, somebody throwing rotten eggs at you while talking in public are just a few examples.
I had my share of embarrassment. I am sharing one embarrassing experience and how this embarrassment paved my way to achievement.
My story- learning how to swim
Soon after I got my Ph.D. I worked for two years as a lecturer at a university. I lived on the campus that had great facilities including swimming pools. Everybody almost could swim. I did not.
I went on a weekend with my friends to swim. I tried to swim but failed. Children and even some adults started mocking me. I could see the eyes laughing at me.
For a few days, I gave up the idea of swimming. My embarrassment was not going to stop me to learn how to swim. If I do not learn then I am the loser. I lose the opportunity and learn swimming and enjoy the fun of swimming.
This shift in attitude made me think. The first step I needed to learn was how to float. I decided to try to float at night hours because there were no eyes watching me. I asked the night guard to be close by as he was a great swimmer. In a few days, I floated and then managed to swim. Practice brings improvement. I practiced every night and the progress I made was a source of great motivation for me.
Days later I ventured to swim in the daytime with many eyes watching me with low expectations. To their surprise, I swam well. Some people even said that I pretended not to be able to swim before to attract attention.
Just ask yourself the question; should embarrassment stop you? If it does then you are the loser. It is kind of self-penalizing.
It is acceptable to feel embarrassed for a short time, but then this embarrassment should be your springboard to learning. Challenge yourself and be ready to change your life for the better.
We are living as long as we are learning. It is never too late to learn.
One thing that we all should learn is how to turn negative experiences to become our source of energy to be and do better.
The pride is in big achievements. The greater the embarrassment is, the greater the achievement shall be.