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How To Respond When You Embarrass Yourself. . .

Prepare yourself: This video is an honest reenactment of how embarrassment plays out in our heads. If you’ve barraged yourself with questions during your own mental press conference, I’d love to read your story in the comments.

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Not so long ago, I did a podcast with Danica Patrick. She has this podcast called Pretty Intense. She was interviewing me and well, I watched a clip from that interview where I did say some quite good things, some things I was proud of like this:

Guy Winch, a friend of mine, he talked to me and said, like, “Everyone has this subjective kind of bar above which everything becomes overwhelming, below which things are more enjoyable. And the problem is if you go above that bar even a little bit, even the things that you previously enjoyed can suddenly start being corrupted by the overwhelm and the stress you have and you stop enjoying even the things that you were enjoying.”

But I also couldn’t help but notice that in the space of this two minute clip that I watched, I said the word like an inordinate amount of times.

“I hit like 28, I had a moment, like a little crisis moment where I was like, probably not a little crisis moment, that’s me underplaying it. Had a crisis moment where I was like, I’m like, I’m really like, I could literally tick off so many of the things that at 21 I would have said like, these are the things. Whether it’s like be a New York Times bestseller or like do tours around the world, live in America. That was like a dream was the idea of like living in the States. Like my inspiration is like, I’m like, I’ve got so many ideas and like, I really feel like…”

Now me, who spent an entire career in public speaking, making videos, airing them to the world. When I see myself doing something like this, the conversation, the experience going on inside my mind looks a little bit like this:




Speaker 2:

I notice you said the word like about 20 times in two minutes. Now, was that part of the game plan today?


No. No, we had a great game plan, a lot of great words prepared. Proud of a lot of the words we used today, but we said that one a little too much.

Speaker 3:

Is your problem of poor vocabulary? Or do you just hate sounding smart?


You serious with that question?

Speaker 2:

Mr. Hussey, do you own a thesaurus?


Yes. Can I ask everybody to move on from the questions about the word like? Thanks.

Speaker 2:

Some would say you were looking for a lot of similes there. Did you think you found that simile?


Next question.

Speaker 3:

Do you think the pressure of sharing the stage with someone so accomplished got to you?


No. No. We always learn in training, play the game not the occasion. Shared the stage with plenty of successful people over the years. This time was no different.

Speaker 2:

Do you think the fact that she’s a successful woman got to you?


I don’t see what that would have to do with anything.

Speaker 2:

She knows more about cars.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. Matthew Hussey, “Imposters Weekly”, do you think you have a right to coach people in these areas when you can’t get something so basic right?


Yeah. Imposters, weekly. What a surprise. No, listen, people can decide that for themselves. People will make their own mind up about that.

Speaker 4:

Could you just walk us through your reaction when you first saw the clip? What was going through your mind?


A lot of things. You’re a @% idiot. I don’t know what you were thinking making videos in the first place. 15 years, you’re still saying this dumb @#$%&! @#$%&! saying like 20 times in one video. Who do you think you are? Your cat was right to run away when you were a kid. No one’s ever going to love you. Your mum is the only person who does and that’s only because that love is unconditional. If your mother’s love wasn’t unconditional, you’d be @#$%&!… So, you know, it’s standard stuff.

Matthew as a reporter:

No more questions. It’s incredibly dark.



Have you ever had a moment like that? A moment where the demons of your mind come to interrogate you and ask questions you don’t want to answer? Now, the danger with these demons that scrutinize us in our mind is that we let them win. That we hear these thoughts from ourselves, whether it’s worries of being an imposter, whether it’s, I’ll never be good in a meeting or an interview or in public speaking or in telling a story. Whether it’s I just come across as silly or foolish, I shouldn’t even try. The danger is that we actually listen to all of that and then we stopped trying. We stopped going after opportunities in life.

I have in my lifetime, made a point of, I still have those thoughts but what I really see is an opportunity to refine my impact, to refine my influence. When I first started making videos, watching myself was pretty difficult. These days, I suppose on some level I’m desensitized to it but I also have learned to look those things in the eye that make me cringe about myself and to use that as a moment of knowledge, where I go, ah, that’s something I want to do differently next time. By confronting that situation or that tic in this case, in the moment I get to consciously start applying focus and attention there. And that is how we get better. We don’t get better by ignoring the things that we don’t do well. And maybe think for a moment about an area of your personal presence or impact that you feel could use some tuning up.

What are some things that you notice you do? Do you talk too fast? Do you rush stories because you deep down worry that your stories aren’t interesting enough so you never really take the time to let the story breathe and have it make that full impact on people? Do you find that your body or the way that you hold yourself or the way that you gesture is weakening your impact? Do you move too much? Or do you move too little?

All of these things are really, to me, they’re fascinating. I’ve always been fascinated in my lifetime with them because it’s one of the most transferable skillsets we’ll ever have is this one. Whether we’re going into a job interview, whether we are asking someone out on a date or going on a date, whether we’re telling a story at a dinner table, whether we’re making a pitch to a client, whether we find ourselves quite literally public speaking, being on stage and having to captivate an audience or whether you’re making content online or want to and you want to build the biggest audience possible, you really want to reach people and connect with them.

I just have never met someone that this skillset isn’t important to or shouldn’t be because making it important would bring them so many more opportunities in their life. It would open so many doors. A lot of people take what I do very literally that, oh, he gives dating advice but actually one of the most meta level skills that I’m passionate about is this one. I love language. I love ideas. I love the communication of ideas. And I love the ability to make an impact with my ideas. Because I have such a deep love for this, I created a program called Impact and it was I suppose, my take on the Dale Carnegie style of advice. When I was 11 years old, I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, it had a huge impact on me as a teenager and has always planted seeds that have been there my whole life.

But this program was I suppose my take on that, my modernization in some ways of it and my spin. Seeing it through my lens. If learning this toolkit, this skillset is something that you feel would be valuable in your life, we are opening up the Impact program again in the next few days. And I tell you this because it’s not open year round. It’s something that we actually quite rarely open. When we do open it, there’s a lot of new members that choose to enroll and learn all of these skills. If you’re one of them, if you want to come and join us, I’m going to leave a link here, which is part of the early bird list so that you get notified as soon as it’s released in the next few days. That‘s getimpactfirst.com

One of the reasons we have an early bird list this time around is because we are doing a special bonus that I’ve never done before, which is an Art of Speaking masterclass, where I’m going to be live coaching people in the art of speaking. Public speaking, yes, but public speaking as applied to every aspect of our lives because we’re not all on stage speaking but we’re all speaking in public. The skills are the same. And public speaking has been one of the skills that has improved my life the most and most of the areas I get value out of it aren’t when I’m on stage because I’m only on stage 5% of my year, the rest of my year, I’m living my life but that’s when it’s all really valuable. And I know it will be for you too.

I’ve never done a class like this before. I’m very excited about it. I get to nerd out on a subject that I love and I’m inviting you to join me. That Art of Speaking masterclass is a bonus that we’re doing this time around when we enroll new members into the Impact program and you can have a chance at being on that bonus by being the first to be notified at getimpactfirst.com. Thank you so much for watching this video. I’m very excited about the new members for the Impact program. I can’t wait to meet you and I’ll see you soon.

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7 Replies to “How To Respond When You Embarrass Yourself. . .”

  • You are way too hard on yourself! You’re doing a great job, your videos and advice are amazing. I probably wouldn’t have even noticed it if you hadn’t pointed it out. Keep up the good work and thank you for the emails you send.

  • Hi Matthew,

    I have the program ‘ Impact ‘ :) it is funny, cos I know I use ‘ like ‘ a lot too. My own conference press would be very funny, cos I jump from one thing to the other in my mind, or talk to myself a lot. Have a great weekend :) x

  • Like (ha!) you, Matthew, I love words. I’m practiced at using words effectively to engage people and “win them over.” Therefore, sometimes I go over the top when I should just shut up. When I date men, I’ll usually be asked on a second date, though recently, I met two men who I fell for that didn’t reciprocate. What? How could this be? I panicked. I clicked into high-gear to win them over with my charm, humility (ha!), and wordsmith skills. They wouldn’t budge – in fact, my fervent interest likely pushed them further away. In the aftermath, I feel arrogant and foolish.

    Matthew, your vulnerability speaks volumes.Thanks for putting a face on the highs and lows of being human. I know I have the ability to grow and alter my behavior in the future – and I’ll do just that!

  • Lol, my brain is a war zone. Constantly berating myself for saying something stupid or questioning my appearance or anything else it can come up with. This was super refreshing, humble and comforting.

  • I just loved the enactment, it´s a wonderful idea, just hilarious, AND SO REAL. Thank you so much. p.d : it is an oportunity to grow, and it never ends…

  • Hi, Matthew!
    So I have been reading your articles and watching your videos, but trust me this one really spoke to me. I mean it takes a hell lot of courage to actually accept your fault in front of the entire world and turn it into a real life lesson.
    Honestly for me, all of this “embarrassment”, “mental interview” has been a constant part of my life. Given then I have suffered from depression and loneliness since the young age of 9, it always felt that I lacked something in me, because of which people wont talk to me as it would be embarrassing. And it was such a vicious cycle, that people would never notice me or acknowledge my presence due to which my lack of self worth increased further.
    Today, I am 19 and even though I am healed from depression and suicidal thoughts, I am still insecure that I cannot speak about my feelings, pain or problems to people, because if I will, then it will be embarrassing as people might label me as an “Attention Seeker” or laugh at me saying that it is all very normal…
    Well! Suicidal thoughts are not normal…are they? :p

    But, reading your article today made me feel that being afraid of such embarrassing situations is not wrong and my feelings in this regard are not invalid.
    Thank you for this and this will help me hope that I will be lesser and lesser insecure about my behavior and I’ll be free of these insecurities one day.

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