I haven’t written in a few days. I’ve been super busy, was pushed outside my comfort zone and was overtired. The last few days may also have even been a test…to see how I’d react to disappointments and feeling uncomfortable in a fairly safe place.
I had a work event. It was local and I was asked to attend and be at our table. The company I work for was a lead sponsor so the owner was pulled away several times to do this introduction or announce that or whatever. I’m good friends with an attendee who came in from out of town so I crashed in her room for the weekend.
5 Things I Reminded Myself Of This Past Weekend That Took Me Outside My Comfort Zone.
#1. I am super shy until you know me and then I’m super comfortable. The conference started with breakfast. I had a list of people that I was supposed to connect with over the 3 days. I only knew 20 people of the 250 in the room. So I got to play a role. I got to be rep from vendor X, who knows her shit because I do. They didn’t know that I’m shy. That I was in an abusive relationship, that I struggle with codependency. When I felt myself sliding back into wanting to be in the background, I took a deep breath, I sat up straight or moved from where I was and talked to the next person.
#2. This one is close to but different than #1. The first one was about how I felt. This one is how I presented myself. Tim Gunn once said ‘you can’t control how you are percieved but you can control how you are presented.’ I was dressed professionally but not overdressed for the crowd. I’ve been told that I can ‘rock a headband’ even with short hair so I picked my favorite one. I felt good about how I was presenting myself.
#3. I was asked to go back to the office for several hours during the day sessions on Friday to help with something there. At first I was disappointed because I wanted to be at the event and there was a session or two I wanted to attend for personal development. Being willing to roll with it and being flexible, it showed the managers that I willing to do what I need to do to support the business. And I know they appreciated it.
#4. The only session I got to sit in was the opening session. The speaker was really funny and encouraged interaction. He talked about the stories we tell ourselves. Stories to fill in the blanks rather than asking questions to find out the truth. I’ve known this for a long time when it comes to children. That children will full in the blanks to their own detriment. If only I’d finished my homework, mom and dad wouldn’t be mad at each other. So please please please ask questions. Be brave enough to be true to yourself and when your are making assumptions, ask questions and get answers to the blanks.
#5. When someone makes you uncomfortable it’s totally the right thing to do for you to politely excuse yourself and circle back around later. I don’t think I need to expand too much on this one. Except to say that I feel really good that I protected myself and my feelings by walking away during a situation because it was not the right time or place or crowd. But I did circle back around and talked to the person about what happened and why I removed myself from the situation.
WOW, that’s some awesome stuff to practice over the last few days. I don’t know if 4 months ago I would have reacted the same way in conflict or outside my comfort zone. I would have shut down.
Back in high school I was the basketball manager and the coach would say ‘it’s not practice makes perfect it’s perfect practice makes perfect’. So this weekend was my little attempt to practice. You can’t get to perfect practice until you start to practice at all.
One day at a time, one foot in front of the other. Push yourself in small safe places to practice new found or developing skills. Little steps right now feel amazing and more like giant steps.
My journey to serenity continues….