Hi Brooke and coaches,
This is an issue that I know if I can move the needle on it — really adopt some new ways of seeing myself / judging myself — I could make a quantum leap in personal growth.
So here’s my issue: I hosted a public discussion on a topic about which I know slightly more than the average citizen — but not much more. It was a very broad topic and the group that invited me to host had 7 panelists from different organizations to answer questions. My job was to ask good questions that would elicit useful answers.
I feel as though I failed at this. During the Q and A afterwards, I learned that there were people in the audience who knew far more than I do (who work in the field) about this topic than I do. They probably (with good reason) thought I asked either clumsy or insensitive questions. I felt as though I groped my way through parts — and I feel as though I embarrassed the people who invited me. They were hoping for an enlightening discussion and I failed them. I alienated the people who don’t know me. I want to crawl up in a hole right now and never come out. (That’s not possible if I want to keep my job — but getting back out there feels like hell. I feel like hell. Worthless.)
So here are my models:
C: Hosted public discussion
T: I failed miserably.
A: Withdraw emotionally, kick the mother-fu*&ing shit out of myself for hours / days; be MUCH more careful about my public appearances; prepare a LOT more; try to be an expert on everything; pre-write the discussion so there’s a map; say no to engagements because I don’t have the time for all that; hide. Hide hide hide
R: do less in the public arena, risk less, [And here’s where I want to write — “stay small” — but that sounds like airy-fairy bullshit. Maybe I SHOULD risk less.]
Intentional — reaching model:
C: hosted public discussion
T: I was myself, made some mistakes, and that’s okay.
F: Um… tender?
A: maybe pull back a little; be more careful; prep more, say “no” more often
R: same thing as the unintentional model
I made mistakes — in hindsight. There are things I should have done better. There are also elements that would inevitably piss off other people or make them feel superior regardless of how well prepared I was. But I don’t want to miss the lesson here — which I can’t believe really is, “Be more careful. Risk less. Pull back.” I also don’t want to defend myself at the cost of improving.
Can you help?