I walked into her office and said, “Do you realize who I am and what I do for a living?”
I was 25, working as a seal and sea lion trainer at the New England Aquarium, and volunteering at a service dog training facility helping with basic obedience training.
They were very specific about how we were supposed to work with the dogs. Consistency is key!
I did something differently. She called me out.
I was embarrassed.
I was arrogant
That was 25 years ago and I still physically cringe when I think of that moment. MORTIFIED.
And that’s just one of a whole big long list of absolutely horrifying things I have done that I can remember with dreadful clarity!
I was reminded of this when my spin instructor Grace said:
“Love yourself for who you are, and for who you were and
all the mistakes you’ve made. You wouldn’t be where
you are now if it hadn’t been for those moments!”
While I would LOVE to be able to find out who I would be if I erased a few of those “treasured” moments, it’s just not possible, so I’m going to stick with what Grace said.
(Oh, and her name is Grace…and she was talking about giving yourself grace. I see you, Universe!)
Anyway, when it comes to confidence, and self-love and all that fun stuff, one of the things that can make it hard is that we know too much!!
We know every little misstep, big foible, colossal
flub and utterly horrifying aberration that
we have personally engaged in.
Even if you don’t generally have a good memory, I bet your memory is juuuuuuuust fine when it comes to that crap!
When the historic cringes give me hesitation, I remind myself of a few things.
- Everyone has a laundry list of mistakes in their mental historical Rolodex.
- Nobody can see yours, and nobody witnessed all of them! (Thank goodness!)
- You learned something, so you’re better for it. (If you haven’t learned something yet, go do that now!)
- You probably didn’t repeat that…so that’s one less horrifying thing you’ll have to add in the future. Check that one off the list. (and hopefully you did what you could to fix it/make up for it)
- People are generally more forgetful and forgiving about other people’s mistakes than their own. It’s possible nobody even remembers.
- This too shall pass…if it hasn’t already.
So, learn from it and move forward better than before! Remind yourself who you are now? What are your strengths now? You are not the person your memory froze you as in that terrible moment. You’re so much more than that, some of which could have been born in that moment.