Therefore, when you find yourself in this moment…
Straighten your spine. Look forward. Draw your shoulders back. Relax your face. Raise your chin a little. Smile.
There’s more ahead. You’re not done yet.
2 | Receive, & face the discomfort
Acknowledge what you wish you had known. Listen to what you don’t know.
Take the hit, and bear it well.
Acknowledge the failure. There’s something accurate about the corrective feedback.
There’s also something you can do about it. There’s somewhere you can go from here.
It’s not a final judgment.
You’re still breathing.
You still have a path of opportunity in front of you.
There’s somewhere you can go from here.
So where will you go?
This is how you talk to yourself about yourself — not with words, but with posture and with behavior. You talk to yourself in what your body does.
What your body does tells your brain how it should feel.
When a hit comes, and you receive it with a posture of dignity and self-assurance, you’re telling your brain that it doesn’t need to dissolve into a pool of despair and shame.
You’re telling your brain that you can walk forward confidently and with joy, in full knowledge of your own shortcomings and ignorances — not in denial of them but just… humble.
This is the place where humility and confidence coexist. It’s not one or the other, but both.
Don’t Fall Prey to These Subtle Mistakes
There is, however, an important aside...
There are a few things to watch out for.
These guys are sneaky deceptions that will try to take over your stance — but you can’t let them.
They’re slight variations on the real thing — but they’re like junk food. They might look, smell, and taste like the real thing… but their artificial makeup eventually reveals itself for what it is. They can’t sustain you in the long run.
It can be comfortable to gaslight.
Gaslighting is when you know that you don’t know what you’re talking about, but you maintain an air of certainty anyway, causing the other to second-guess their own perspective.
It’s an ego-boosting solution for self-preservation.
It protects you from feeling overwhelmed by insufficiency in the moment when you’re caught in ignorance.
But it also — when habituated — destroys your relationships as well as your credibility. And it doesn’t solve the original problem.
It’s a temporary fix.
It makes you feel better by falsely resolving the issue.
But it neglects humility — and as a result, damages the connections on which you rely.
Here’s another false assurance.
Puffing up is what you do when you don’t want to admit defeat.
It protects you from the shame of coming up short.
But it doesn’t fool anyone — least of all yourself.
Another temporary fix.
Faker #3: The Victim Card
This guy is the seeming antithesis of the first two, but he’s just as destructive — he may even be the worst one.
This is when you believe the lie that you can’t.
Playing the victim card can masquerade as a false humility. It can appear innocent and down-to-earth.
But it’s cowardly. And it’s damaging. And unnecessary.
It protects you from the responsibility associated with the failures that matter.
It also prevents you from ever overcoming important challenges.
It pathologizes your engagement with life and poisons your relationships.
It takes care of the moment — but this is also only a temporary solution.