Let’s take a brief look at my track record when it comes to embarrassment…

I caught the microwave on fire at work this school year when I had a blonde moment and put a butter packet (that was wrapped with foil) in for 15 seconds.

I brought a towel to barre class (straight out of the drying machine) only to expose to the class a pair of my underwear that had been wrapped up in it. #mortified

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve ran up to someone and said, “Hey, so-n-so!” only to realize they weren’t the person I thought they were.

I woke up with extremely red, swollen eyes due to allergic reaction on picture day for cheerleading during my senior year of high school. I ended up on steroids from an ophthalmologist. By the way, this was on and off my entire senior year of high school. Every 17 year old girl’s living nightmare.

I once wore two different colors (one black, one brown) of the same wedges and didn’t notice until a man in the grocery store called me out in front of the entire check-out line.

You get the point. I’m a mess and have had too many embarrassing moments to name them all. PS. did you catch one of my latest posts about the embarrassing drive I had downtown due to a flat tire?

Here’s the thing, not every embarrassment is our fault or preventable, but what I will say is that I embarrass myself a lot more now than I ever used to. Why? Because I’m doing a lot more that puts me at risk for embarrassment!

Brian Tracy said, “Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” and it’s proving to be true in my life as of late.

Here’s 9 embarrassing things we should start embracing if we want to grow:

  1. Be ourselves It can be embarrassing to be yourself especially when you’re in an environment where everyone else relates and you feel like an odd duck. For me personally, it’s been extremely difficult and sometimes embarrassing to fully be myself especially when that ends up bringing ridicule. However, what I know for sure is that there is freedom and growth that happens when we stop camouflaging and unapologetically be who we were meant to be!
  2. Admit we’re wrong Sucks at the time, but admitting we’re wrong, apologizing and asking for grace is one of the most respected gestures that seems to happen less and less in today’s world. I’m not sure if it’s because of social media and the ability to unfriend someone with the click of a button, but it’s heartbreaking to me that we’d rather cut ties than make amends. For me, the act of owning up to my shortcomings and making peace has been a right of passage in my walk with Jesus.
  3. Turn a conversation off gossip This has been SUPER tough for me because I never want to seem like a hypocrite and let’s get real- I’ve been the gossiper one too many times. I’m constantly having to work on this, but when you bravely speak up in a group of people and say, “You know, I really don’t want to discuss her anymore.” or redirect a conversation with, “So anyway, how’s work going?” you’re not only doing the right thing, but you’re growing as a person and helping those around you grow up, too.
  4. Talk to strangers We’re beyond those stranger danger years and although it can be somewhat awkward to strike up a conversation with someone we don’t know, it can be life-changing! I’ve been working on leaving an impact on each person I come in contact with. This requires me to sometimes embarrassingly introduce myself, ask how their day is going, and tap into that awkward space of human interaction. Every time I walk away, I’ve either made a useful connection, a genuine friendship, or am left simply feeling happier.
  5. Don’t shy away from asking It can be super embarrassing to be shot down or rejected, but you never know unless you try, right? The blogging world has taught me that it’s better to ask and feel a little bit embarrassed than to not ask and miss out on a huge opportunity. I was SO nervous to email Albion Fit for an upcoming post, but when I did, they exceeded my expectations by not only agreeing to collaborate with me, but to throw in some fun freebies for myself as well!
  6. Welcome deep conversations Getting real and deep with people is raw and vulnerable and not everyone’s first choice when meeting up for Starbucks. This one isn’t as challenging for me because I’m a very layered person. Surface talk is fine, but I love sharing and hearing the deepest layers of a person. I’ve seen my friendships flourish when we can discuss things that have meaning. Shoes and boys are great, but it’s beautiful when we can talk about our fears and desires openly and authentically.
  7. Make a scene I hate whenever E tickles me or does something super silly in Target (like push the cart super fast and hop on and ride around the way a child does) because I scream or he laughs or people point and it’s embarrassing. Anybody feel me? But when it’s all said and done, my husband just knows how to have a good time and I need to chill out a little bit. Who cares what other people think! Enjoying those moments, rather than suppressing or getting grumpy over them, is another place of freedom and joy that we’re able to experience.
  8. Compliments that are beyond surface When’s the last time you complimented your neighbor or a coworker? For many of us, it hasn’t been that long. By nature I’d like to believe I’m good at dishing out compliments. However, I can’t recall the last time I gave a compliment that wasn’t about their outfit or hair. Those are easy peasy compliments. What if we started complimenting others on things that touched the heart? “After watching how you take care of Isla today, I just wanted you to know that I think you’re such a great mom.” or “At this meeting I attended someone mentioned needing someone who would be fantastic with children and you were the first person to come to my mind, you have a gift!” or “I adore your energetic spirit. It motivates me!”
  9. Having a tough, but truthful conversation I know I can’t be the only one who shy’s away from tough conversations. I strongly dislike conflict and never want to embarrass myself, but sometimes it’s in the midst of these talks that we have a breakthrough. That breakthrough may not be with the person you’re talking to, but within yourself. Avoiding a tough conversation is often procrastinating the inevitable.

Those are the 9 I’m focused on and willingly welcoming the embarrassment that often comes with them.

In what ways are you growing and becoming a better version of yourself amidst the embarrassment?

XO, Manda

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