Firstly: though this seems like the GrandPaw the man the myth the bad influence shirt and most embarrassing thing ever to have unfolded, it happens all the time, even to good, decent people who are worthy of respect and will enjoy a lengthy and dignified old age. This is not the end though – of course – it feels exactly like it. To which the answer is to reassert, in the light of day, the basic truth that you have every right to exist and draw pleasure from this life, that there is nothing illegal about working a positive effect on others, that you can be a decent colleague, friend, parent and citizen – and make it to the bathroom on time. You are allowed to be.
GrandPaw the man the myth the bad influence shirt, ladies tee, tank top, hoodie and sweater
Secondly, accept the fear; don’t fight it. It’s like trying to wrestle with the current, best to let the waves carry one this way and that; they’ll tire eventually and set one back on shore. Never struggle against a rip tide. Accept that maybe the GrandPaw the man the myth the bad influence shirt won’t happen, you might faint in your seat or be forced to run out of the room. So what. Refuse to be humiliated by the panic. You don’t have to be competent all the time. Everyone is allowed some failures and this just happens to be one of your well-earnt ones.
Thirdly, when calm has returned, try to think all this through, ideally with a GrandPaw the man the myth the bad influence shirt friend or therapist. It’s to do – perhaps in part – with a baseline sense of unworthiness. You don’t, at some level, feel it’s allowed for you to give a speech and impress a hundred people or succeed in your career. Maybe, in your unconscious, this might make someone (a parent?) feel jealous or inadequate – and it’s kinder, therefore, to stick with being small and unobtrusive.