“Why do you put your hand over your mouth when you smile?” This was a question directed at me by one of my cousin’s friends during a girls night out about 17 years ago.

I looked around me hoping it was not me she was talking to – nope it was me. I was embarrassed and horrified as I blushed furiously, my hands were sweating and I sort of “ummmmmed”. Even worse I now realised all of the girls were looking right at me waiting for an answer.”

I blurted out …

“Erm I don’t know” –  hoping she would drop the conversation due to my obvious embarrassment, wanting desperately to drop out of the limelight.

Ok, I was wrong …  “You have a beautiful smile, you should show it off” she continued.

“I have wonky teeth” I spluttered, as I blushed even more and struggled to take the compliment. I could see the confusion, as they now tried to see if I really did have wonky teeth.

“What? I hadn’t even noticed,” she said, “All I saw was the joy”.

“Thank you” I finally managed to mumble as I quickly excused myself to rush off to the sanctuary of the ladies loos.

In the loo, I was furious with myself

“Why did I get so embarrassed? that was so stupid!” Quickly followed by  “Great! now I have another thing to worry about. ” … “I am obviously socially weird.”  …”What the heck does putting my hand over my mouth when I smile say about me?”

This incident is etched in my mind why?…

It was a turning point where I realised I was hiding. I was making myself small, grey, inoffensive, invisible. In fact, I was becoming wallpaper in my own life.

I was reminded of this incident during a coaching session with a client. We were talking about ‘Shining your Brilliance.’  …  ‘Owning your Gifts.’ … and ‘Having the Life you Deserve’. I could see how incredible she is., and see her brilliance. But she was struggling to let it out. Buried under a pile of ‘Who am I to have a wonderful life?”

“Have you ever read this Marianne Williamson quote?” I asked.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.”

I recognised her fear of being powerful because that was me

I knew there could be much more to me and my life, but I was so scared of what other people would think “Would people still like me? What if I lost all of my friends? Will they laugh at me? I don’t deserve to have a wonderful life”.

Does this sound like you too?

Do you ever feel like you have a dream or a knowing that you could be so much more? Or your life could be different or happier? Maybe you are scared to dare to go for what you want. Or wary of uncovering your dreams because of what others may think of you?

What if living your authentic life was exactly what you were put here to do? Could being yourself be exactly what another person needs to see to inspire them to be themselves too? How would it feel if by you being happy in your own skin this lightness of heart made your family and friends happier too?

What I did to get past this belief that was keeping me small

I was gifted a straight talking, no b*llshit, fun Life Coach named Barbara in the UK. Who every two weeks listened sagely to my blabbering, incoherent, tearful, snot-filled outpourings.

She lovingly challenged my assumptions about myself. I had to dig deep with her guidance to come up with my own solutions. Barbara taught me to observe myself and be curious without judgement. She even told me that one day I would be doing what she was doing (did I mention she may be psychic!).

She was right – because now on the other side of the world in NZ I have my own coaching practice. And I’m helping heaps of people like you find and uncover your brilliance.

So just think – where do you feel embarrassed? Where are you hiding?

Allow the world see your brilliance. And if you ever hear yourself saying “Who am I to …?”  just hear my voice asking you “Who are you not to …?” After all “I see you”.


If you would like to find out how creativity could help you have a joyful life let’s have a chat … book a time for a FREE 30-minute discovery chat with me.

6 thoughts on “Embarrassed and horrified in the limelight

  1. This is such a wonderful article. I really relate to this, I was also a painfully shy teenager, and was so worried about what people thought of me. It is heartwarming to know that you were the same, and have been able to evolve into such a strong, inspiring woman.

    I love this sentence, is such a wake-up call for me:

    “Could being yourself be exactly what another person needs to see to inspire them to be themselves too?”

    Thanks for writing this, I look forward to reading more of your articles!

    1. Hi Helen

      Thank you for the lovely comment I certainly relate to what you are saying. I was chatty but really did not like being centre of attention, which meant that sometimes people thought I was a snob/rude/stand offish.

      I can’t wait to see you being so much more of yourself too!


  2. Brilliant blog Angela, I love this

    1. Thank you I am really glad you enjoyed it Christine.

  3. Thank you Angela! That is powerful and really spoke to me. I will have to spend some time meditating on this.
    Blessings to you from Canada.

    1. Thank you Melody. We often forget how far we’ve come and yet there is always more to experience. If I can pass on my experiences to help others along the way then my life is pretty darned good ?. Do let me know how you go meditating on this x

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