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  • Writer's pictureAlena Grunberg

What to do when you did something really embarrassing

Remember this truth: You are not your latest regrettable behavior, anxious dating blunder, angry outburst with a family member, or career mistake.

You’re going to do things that aren’t aligned with who you are or who you want to be. That’s a fact. Then comes the important choice point. Will the behavior become an excuse to criticize and define yourself based upon one cringe-worthy moment? Will you keep thinking “only a loser would act that way, so that’s who I am?”

Or, can you observe and learn from what happened, and perhaps ask what unmet needs or unhealed wounds contributed to your reaction? Let your less then ideal behaviors indicate where you’re out of balance. Then compassionately take better care of yourself, using whatever happened as valuable information revealing what you need.

Try it! See if you can silence your inner critic, and allow your self-soothing and reasonable voice to come in. Allow yourself to make the incident something meaningful and positive by addressing the underlying needs that could have led to the behavior and transform it from regrettable to extremely useful.

If you can’t silence that critic… know that it’s not your fault. You probably learned to do this a long time ago and therapy can help you to understand and unlearn this negative self-talk.

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