Five Life Lessons You Can Only Learn Against Your Will
Life Lessons You Can Only Learn Against Your Will
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We can’t help learning lessons as we go through life. Some of the lessons we learn are rewarding and exhilarating — like learning how to accept praise graciously and how to give advice when people look up to you enough to ask for your advice.
Some of the most vital lessons we have to learn are ones we can’t learn voluntarily. We can only learn them against our will, because we’d never consciously put ourselves in the position to learn them.
They are painful lessons to learn, but once we’ve got them under our belt, we are stronger! They sting at the time, though.
Sometimes we think the pain is going to kill us, but we survive. Then we have new battle scars and a new story to tell!
Here are five lessons you can only learn against your will.
How to survive crushing embarrassment
Our most embarrassing moments stick with us for decades. I still remember standing up in the auditorium in front of the whole school in fifth grade, reading from three-by-five cards. I got the cards out of order somehow and got confused, ended my speech hastily in mid-sentence and sat down.
I remember my red cheeks and the hot shame I felt about making a fool of myself in front of the school.
I’m pretty sure my classmates have forgotten all about my flubbed fifth-grade speech but it sure made an impression on me. I learned two things: 1) preparation is key and 2) I can survive being embarrassed.
Most people spend their time thinking about themselves and their own problems. They don’t care about you. Look at how quickly celebrities bounce back from their scandals! You did something embarrassing? That’s fine. Get up, dust yourself off and keep motoring!
You’ll survive your most embarrassing words and actions, and they’ll bother you less and less as the years go by. By the time you’re my age you really won’t care.
What is improv, after all? It’s taking down barriers to say and do what you feel in the moment.
What is business, after all? It’s improv. It will serve you to get better at it!
How to be the lone voice in the room
I remember feeling a mix of horror and fury with my workmates when they’d tell me, one after the other “Your idea is exactly what this company needs. You go in that staff meeting and preach it, girl! I’ll be right there backing you up.”
I went in and preached and the whole room sat silently and looked at me. My biggest supporters in private stared at the ceiling and checked their phones in public. At the time I was angry and disappointed with them for wimping out on me and leaving me to speak my truth alone.
Over time I stopped caring whether people who said they agreed with me came to my defense in public. Why did I need them to defend me, if I had something important to say? I empowered people by speaking up and gradually they found their own voices, too.
They hadn’t been trying to stab me in the back by staying on the sidelines. They were just afraid to put their opinions out there.
You can survive being the lone voice in the room, and it’s a very good experience for everyone to have — once, twice or a thousand times.
Do you want your views to be accepted by the people who need to accept them just because everybody else votes the same way you do — or do you want your pitch to succeed because it’s worthy on its own merits?
Thanks to Forbes for this great article please click on the link below: