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Embracing Authenticity: Embrace Embarrassment

Updated: Jan 24

Hello loves!

I hope everyone is staying warm during this super cold week! Winter was fun and everything, but can we bring back the sun now?

Aside from shivering under bundles of blankets, this week we're continuing with the Living Authentically series. After today, there's just one part left to cover (which is wild), which will also come with a fun announcement! But for now, let's talk about something that I hold very near & dear:

Embracing Embarrassment

This is exactly what it sounds like: Embrace the Embarrassing moments.

Accept being cringe. Be okay with coming across as awkward sometimes. Allow yourself to be humbled.

However you want to phrase it, the fact is, it all comes down to one thing: Admit to yourself that you're not perfect.

I don't mean this in the "quirky, Netflix original Main Character" way or the self-deprecation as humor way. That imperfection is still carefully crafted to come across with a certain intent. It's the facade of authenticity, which defeats the whole purpose of being authentic.

Embracing and accepting the fact that you will be embarrassed and mess up at times means acknowledging your own humanness. Sometimes you'll say something with full confidence only to be teased by how incorrect it was. Maybe the screen-shotted text message gets sent to the cool person you like instead of your best friend like you meant. Other times you'll trip up the stairs in a crowded building where everyone can see (so not speaking from experience or anything here).

And sometimes you'll embarrass yourself by making a mistake that-- regardless of what you intended-- hurts someone.

We commonly think of embarrassment as red cheeks, maybe some sweating and stammering, and an awkward, but overall harmless, display of clumsiness or lack of social skills.

But think about shame. Guilt. That anger when people misunderstand you and view you as someone you aren't. A fear of attention because what if you say the wrong thing when everyone is watching?

A lot of those feelings come hand-in-hand with embarrassment. We feel those strong emotions because, whether we like it or not, we are panicking and stressed that something happened out of our control and it's impacting what people think of us.

Embarrassment, humiliation, or whatever word you want to use stems from our need to be in control. But the truth is, we don't actually have that much control to begin with.

You can't prevent that stranger from bumping into you and spilling coffee down your shirt. The icy sidewalk you fell on in front of your date wouldn't have been less slippery if you'd asked. That person who dislikes you for seemingly no reason & just loves to bring up that one humiliating story won't change their perception of you because you want them to.

The world is full of independent and imperfect people who are all doing their best just to get through the day. We are all learning and growing and doing life for the first time, so of course we're going to make mistakes! Sometimes those mistakes are a little silly, and sometimes they're embarrassing on a public scale.

It's okay. You don't have to be perfect, because you literally can't be.

I think for myself, & probably a lot of other people out there, this is the hardest part of living an authentic life. It is so challenging to admit that you cannot control the world around you. You can't force everyone to see you the way you want to come across, or expect everyone to be respectful when you make a mistake. This isn't the Sims; you can't double-click away the feeling of embarrassment and act like nothing's wrong.

And that's great! Embarrassment is a good thing (I know this sounds weird, but trust me).

When we mess up, and we get that familiar fluster of emotions, we should allow ourselves to feel them. Embarrassment means we are still capable of being corrected and aren't so hard-headed as to genuinely believe it's "my way or the highway". It reminds us that we aren't perfect and don't know everything, and we shouldn't act like it.

Accepting embarrassing moments as a normal part of life helps us take ourselves less seriously. Which in turn encourages us to carry our fully authentic selves into the world rather than the facades we like to hide behind. Not only does being comfortable with a bit of embarrassment allow us to be ourselves and open our minds to other ideas, but it encourages others to be themselves too.

Think of the most genuine, authentic person you know and think of when you spend time with them. Don't you notice that they bring out the full, complex and real sides of you that are normally hidden?

Authentic people are comfortable in who they are and in the fact that they aren't perfect. They become a safe person for others to be imperfect and messy and clumsy around, and in turn, those relationships inspire an even greater degree of intimacy and joy and care than a shallow relationship could ever create.

Accepting embarrassment as a part of life results in people feeling more comfortable with bringing their full selves forward and resting in the fact that they are enough as they are.

So the next time you make a mistake, don't scramble to the defense right away. Take a moment, and remind yourself that it's okay to be a messy, mistake-making human and that you are still amazing exactly as you are. Don't hide your imperfections behind fake hollow "perfection".

We are all cringey at times, and I think that's pretty great.

Love y'all!

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." -- 1 John 1:8-9

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