The Easy Place

The Quest for Self Awareness One Moment at a Time


When I was training to be a coach I assisted for a class at my coaching school. On the first day of an endless session where the students practiced and the assistants sat quietly at the back of the room, I got bored.  I’d brought a book  and without thinking, I asked one of the leaders if I could read during the practice session.  Had I thought about it I would have realized that this absolutely wasn’t done – no assistant had ever sat and read during any of the classes I’d attended.

As the leader very kindly explained to me why I couldn’t read during the session, my face burned with shame.  For the next two days of class I felt like a fool.  I was sure that she’d told the other instructor about my ridiculous question, and I imagined that some of their instructions over the next couple of days were directed at me, just in case I had any other brainless ideas. 

I was so embarrassed I almost didn’t tell anyone, but finally I confessed to my coach, Michael. 

What was Michael’s response?

“So what?” he said. “You’re human.”

And, just like that my embarrassment and shame evaporated.  I realized that although I thought my question was disastrously stupid, the leader probably hadn’t given it much thought.  And even if she had, even if she paused and thought, “Here’s a dumb one,” what did it really matter?  It’s true she was the class leader but, as Michael would say, so what?  We were both there for the same purpose – to help train coaches. 

Now when I goof up it leaves a different residue.  Sure, I’m still embarrassed, and I still get that flash of “What will they think?” panic.  But it quickly fades as I reconnect with the fact my blunder is merely a moment’s lapse of judgment – nothing more.  It’s not the first mistake I’ve made and it won’t be the last. 

And that’s ok, because I’m human and that’s just part of the package.  


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8 responses to “Whoops!

  1. CP August 4, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Oh – I totally could feel how you felt. I was reading about your face getting red and I had the same physical reaction. I was completely in the moment. I love that I understand your writing. And on the bright side, asking to read really isn’t that bad in my book (book…get it :)

  2. Melinda August 5, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Dang, it was embarassing!! Thanks Cindy :)

  3. Nea | Self Improvement Saga August 7, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Your reaction is completely understandable. I guess we sometimes get caught up in worrying too much about what others think of us. Like you, I’m learning to give myself a break. I’m human and I screw up sometimes just like everyone else. And life always always always goes on.

  4. Farouk August 9, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    so true!! sometimes we give extra care to something while in fact others never notice it, thank u for posting this Melinda :)

  5. Dawnika August 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    My brothers were always so good at that. “O well!” It’s very liberating!

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