I’m So Incredibly Embarrassed

On the same day, I got two messages asking the same question: “I did something embarrassing. Did I just ruin my life?”

The funny thing is that one was a LinkedIn coaching client, and the other was an improv student.

Neither one of them ruined their lives. In fact, the only people who thought they had done anything embarrassing were themselves.

Was what they had done ideal? No. Did anyone but them remember? Also no.

But I remember every embarrassing thing I’ve ever done…

Okay, that’s not true. Surely, I’ve forgotten some of them. But stupid things I said or did often come to mind, and I cringe at how embarrassing that was. I’m sure some of you are plagued by the same problem.

But for the most part, we do something embarrassing and we think we will die and everyone but us forgets.

Don’t believe me? Then try this little experiment: Write a list of all the normal (non-celebrities) people who went viral for doing something really dumb.

Oh, you can’t do it?

You don’t remember their names?


Now, can you name some of the dumb things your coworkers or classmates did? Sure. But nowhere nearly as many as the dumb things you, yourself, did.

Don’t let failure stop you

You have done dumb things, said stupid things, and once walked out of the bathroom with your skirt tucked into your undies, but you just need to move on.

You’ve also probably been removed from a prime project, been dumped by a partner, and lost a job. It happens. Life happens. Failure is an integral part of life, and it’s an integral part of success.

The key is to move forward. Don’t hide yourself away, thinking that everyone else noticed your mistake, and you’ll never live it down. Of course, you’ll live it down.

Your key is learning from whatever mistake you made and moving forward. Mistakes happen to everyone. Everyone makes bad or impulsive comments from time to time. If you hurt someone else, apologize. And stay away from the “I’m sorry you were hurt” phrasing. “I’m sorry I hurt you” is much better.

And remember to laugh at yourself. Failing with joy is a thing.

Coming up!

If you’d like to learn how to amplify your presence on LinkedIn, join my HRLearns Webinar: LinkedIn Mastery: From Profile Basics to Networking Pro. I’ll teach you the things you need to know to make posting on LinkedIn worth your time. The Webinar is Tuesday, May 21, 2024, at 12:00 Eastern, 9:00 Pacific, 18:00 Central Europe. While HR will be the target audience, the principles will apply to anyone on LinkedIn

This is part of my Improv Your HR Newsletter. Sign up here!

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One thought on “I’m So Incredibly Embarrassed

  1. Thank you for posting this! Very good advice that I sometimes forget about.

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