We need to learn how to be kind to ourselves in some situations. You have most likely heard and even used the phrase, “I could have kicked myself!” Sometimes this is used in a light-hearted manner if you have unintentionally put your foot right in it, or made a fool of yourself.
Being Kind to Ourselves
Some people will harbor such incidents deep inside and this can sometimes turn into real anxiety and stress.
For example, let us look at the ‘making a fool of yourself in front of someone or others.’
You have just given a presentation to your team that went horribly wrong. You had messed up the slide sequence on the power point and this caught you out when reading from your script. You became tongue-tied and panicky. You could see people trying not to laugh and others whispering to each other and to make matters worse your boss was none too pleased. You were shaking inside and wanted the ground to open up and swallow you in. Within a few days, everyone has forgotten about it but you haven’t.
This has totally knocked your confidence and you feel it would be better to look for another job because you think people are still laughing at you thinking you are stupid. You are fearful your boss will make you do the presentation again sometime in the near future. You break out in sweat just thinking about it. The only option is to leave.
We all need to understand we will make mistakes as we walk through the rugged road of life, it is rarely one straight and happy pathway. Beating ourselves up serves no purpose other than to ignite more stress and anxiety. Think about the situation and then write down how you can put matters right. Looking for another job is running away from the situation instead of dealing with it and it will always play on your mind.
Ask yourself these questions…
- Was the situation so bad; embarrassing yes, but so bad that you are full of anxiety and thinking about leaving a job you really like?
- Has anyone said anything about it to you?
- Is anyone in your opinion that concerned about it?
- Have you been ignored by your colleagues because of it?
- Has your boss stopped talking to you?
- Is the atmosphere in the office different now?
The answer to all these questions is probably no. No one is 100% perfect all of the time, mistakes are made for example, in the workplace, at home, at school, and in social situations, they are part of life.
How can you get over this?
Go and ask your boss for a meeting with him and the people who attended. Explain that you should have looked at the slides before the presentation then you would not have made such a mess of it. Apologize, saying you are going to redo it and this time it will be just fine and hope they will enjoy it. Then you could say, to break the ice, “Would someone be kind enough to proofread my slides because two pairs of eyes are better than one.” This will show you are serious about wanting your next presentation to be perfect and that you are being professional.
Most of the people will accept the apology and respect you for facing them and the boss to put matters right. You will now have peace of mind and get on with producing a brilliant presentation!
Afterward, reward yourself with something comforting like some chocolate, a glass of wine or piece of cake and give yourself a pat on the back for taking the bull by the horns and resolving your anxiety.
Jan, Life Coach You