I was about to race my best friend in the 200-yard dash. I had beaten him several times in practice, even when I wasn’t running my best. So I was positive that I would at least take 4th place in the race and escape being the last of the bunch.
I stood confidently behind the blocks and waited for the gunshot. My legs felt strong and ready to burst forth. The silence of the crowd around the curve grows with anticipation. The gun sounded. I pushed out of the blocks, using all the strength I could muster.
The curve was easy to get around. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see that I was clearly in front of my teammate. Just a few more yards and could sprint down the straightaway with all my might. The shouts and jeers of the crowd became louder. The air streaked across my face with increasing intensity as I entered the straight away.
From the corner of my eye, my teammate appeared to be gaining ground. I sprinted as fast as I could. Then my eyes caught the faces of the crowd. It interrupted my focus. I felt the strength of my legs dwindle as my teammate gained ground.
The finish line appeared to grow further away as my teammate passed me by. He appeared to gain more and more ground as I struggled to stay close enough to avoid being the center of attention.
However, the attempt was futile. The pack was way ahead of me. Again I found myself the center of attention, wrapped in a whirlwind of shame that became more intense as I neared the finish line. My imagination was full of laughing faces and mocking peers.
Upon passing the finish line, I was exhausted, refusing to look toward the crowd or in the face of anyone came up and gave me an encouraging pat on the back.
I wasn’t’ made at my teammate. In fact, I learned from the situation. In a sense, my teammate didn’t beat me at all. It was ashamed. I was ashamed of my own efforts. I was ashamed of being the weakest link.
Fear of shame is a recipe for failure. This terrible symptom will defeat you in whatever you attempt to gain in life.
I have grown strong against this fear of shame and have overcome it to the point that it means nothing to me. Since then, my success has been tremendous.
Never allow shame to overcome you. Have faith in yourself. Appreciate the little things you can do well and the effort you give to defeating your weaknesses.