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Embarrassing Situations Yield Learning Lessons

When something doesn’t go quite right or as I had planned, I generally try to consider it a “lesson learned” rather than beating myself up over mistakes. By doing so, I can keep myself from getting too frustrated, keep my sense of humor, stay focused on creating a better me in a better future, and hopefully find a way to help someone else. Although, at times, I am more inclined to make up an example for the lesson than use my own experience. What you are about to hear is one of those things I probably wouldn’t normally share online (I didn’t even tell my co-workers).embarrassed

One thing I have to guard against on a regular basis is doing too much and overpacking my schedule. As a result, I sometimes feel rushed even when I am not. This morning after assisting my friend to take his great dane to the vet and a quick drop off at doggy daycare, I jumped in my car to get to one of my weekly therapuetic client meetings. I could either get some breakfast on the way or run out for something in the 30 minutes between my client and staff meeting. Still debating my timing until I pulled in to my favorite brunch restaurant, I made the better choice of fresh, local ingredients to go. Dipping my fork into the syrup rather than dumping it on my cinnamon pear french toast was also a wise choice; trying to do so while driving was not…

Warm syrup seeping into your lap is an interesting experience, not one that I necessarily recommend.

Other than don’t eat and drive (in my defense, I was taught to eat and drive in driver’s ed), I think I found a pretty good lesson in the awful stickiness, super-fast shower at my friend’s house, and wearing jeans to work (lucky I at least had those with me!). I could have gotten upset that I was working hard to make good choices and fit them into my busy schedule. I could have decided that next time I would choose the Dunkin’ Donuts drive through instead. I could have thrown out all my good intentions, like the syrup that dumped all over me and my car.

Luckily, I remembered to take a deep breath and consider that such things happen to others (although, syrup?!?). I knew I would not want any of my clients or readers to suffer undue distress or give up after one measly disaster. Making a change is a stressor and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and tempted to give up when something does not go right. It’s easy to let those old negative thinking patterns take hold. Don’t do it. Laugh at yourself. Remember that we all stumble when we are learning to walk, but eventually you will be able to run. Learn that planning ahead can prevent unnecessary stress. Be thankful for wonderful friends who love you anyway and french toast with just a bit too much syrup.

What else have you or could you learn from an embarrassing experience?

November 8th, 2009

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