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Feeling Embarrased for Others

Hey Friends, I’m glad you have joined me on this journey to thrive and be all God has called you to be. The closer you get to someone, the more you are tempted to control the way they do things. Sometimes out of protecting them and sometimes out of selfish reasons of how their actions will make you feel. I had to deal with this thought process myself earlier on in my marriage when I realised that my husband and I have different personalities. I believe that in order to let everyone around you thrive we should deal with the feeling of embarrassment when we see them evolve, step into their higher purpose, try something new, unveil themselves, show their personality and just generally become and grow as a person. It is easier to get used to someone’s way of doing things that it becomes hard to make room in our minds for their growth. We want them to stay as the sister, brother, spouse or friend that we know and we feel challenged and embarrassed watching them evolve to fulfill their higher calling. This can often lead us to indirectly control how our loved ones show up to others because we are trying to protect ourselves from the embarrassment of their evolving and their growth. This my friend is what I want to shed light on today. There is a saying I love to reference that I first heard from my brother a long time ago, Nobody can embarrass you without your permission. Sit with this for a while – nobody can embarrass you without your permission. People need to get access through you, that is, you need to submit to the thought of being embarrassed for you to feel embarrassed. You see being embarrassed is a feeling that comes from the thought or interpretation you are having concerning a thing. The thought or interpretation you give a thing determines if you feel embarrassed or not. If I take my niece who is a toddler out for a day, and she starts to throw a tantrum and get the attention of people around, different feelings can come into play depending on my thought process. I could feel compassion for her or curiosity as to what is happening to her. In this way I make it about her wellbeing not about me. Or I could interpret her behaviour as a reflection of who I am, and feel she has embarrassed me, which is rather selfish. You see, my interpretation of her action will either make me feel embarrassed or otherwise. Often this feeling of embarrassment can be brought about when we are trying to portray ourselves higher than we ought to think, so we end up trying to control our loved ones, because we think their evolving personality will impact our 'reputation' - that is, who we are trying to show the world that we are. Remember the verse in the bible that admonishes us not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, read more of this in Romans 12:3.

Friends, you might think you are protecting that child by dictating their every move and making sure they fall into place regarding how they behave especially outside, but check deep within your heart about your motives. Is it so you can be seen as a good mother, so they don’t spoil your 'reputation' – what you want others to think about you? Well if this is the case, you might win that particular war of getting your child to conform but you are slowly loosing the battle of raising a thriving child who is not afraid to make mistakes in front of his or her mum. I talked more about this in my book – Godly, Thriving & Confident kids. You can go to my website www.sylvianwokolo.com/parenting to check it out.

I want us to stop and think when we find ourselves exhibiting this controlling behaviour. Our loved ones do not need us to protect them from thriving, they want us to give them room to grow and thrive without projecting our fears on them. Sometimes we should put ourselves in their shoes. Would we want to be encouraged to go for our dreams and to try something new which aligns to our purpose? Or would we want to be discouraged by our spouse, siblings or close friend when we are trying to move forward? I still remember my daughters dance shows when they were still little, those immature baby dances they did made them look cute in our eyes and made us smile, but not embarrassed, because we could see our little babies evolving to move their bodies even when the dance might have looked silly. Now my daughter still dances on stage and is worthy of receiving the same encouragement even when she feels she did not do her best. I want us to keep seeing our loved ones in this same way, give them room to grow, to evolve, to make mistakes and learn from it, to move forward and try more things. This builds character in them. This builds confidence in them and allows them to keep thriving without fear.

Live and let live my friend; Let’s not project our fears on our loved ones. Let’s allow them to express themselves and know that you hold a thriving space for them without judgment. In other, for you to effectively do this, you must be confident in yourself, you must know that who you are is not determined by who your loved one is. You must approach your loved ones with curiosity about how they choose to show up. This will open up for more productive conversation with them. You see when you are curious about them, instead of having a closed and judgemental approach, it shows you are thinking about them and not trying to fix things for your selfish reasons, or patch things up so their behaviour does not affect how you want to be perceived by others. You deal with situations regarding your loved ones better when you remove the pride of how you want to be perceived from it. When I settle in my heart that I am not trying to win the best mum in the world, I am able to challenge my kids with curiosity and have a productive conversation with them. Knowing that when they behave in a way I don’t condone, it does not change who I am, but gives them an opportunity to learn and grow. So my friend, I want you to think on these things so you can create an environment where people around you can feel valued and loved while trying to become their best version. Remember you are the light of the world, so keep winning, shining and thriving. God bless.


Sylvia Nwokolo is a Wellbeing Transformation Coach and Author.

For your free breakthrough call, click here.

To get Sylvia's new ebook Godly, Thriving & Confident Kids, click here


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