Some people are seemingly born with poise and self-confidence; other people develop it over time. And then there are the rest of us.
I’ve always been fairly outgoing, but carrying around 100 extra pounds for too many years made me feel awkward and self-conscious in situations outside my normal day-to-day. I love meeting new people and experiencing new things too much to entirely withdraw from polite society, but I did pass up on some events because I didn’t feel I could bluster my way through.
That was then. Now, I’m still not poised (not in my DNA), nor do I always feel 100% comfortable walking into a room full of strangers, but I’ve conquered that sometime-hesitancy to step out of the norm and explore new things.
Take the past week, for example:
– I “pitched” my services to a company for an upcoming event, presenting my abilities and ideas in a (mostly) orderly fashion. No definite answer yet, but they haven’t said no either.
– I attended a city-wide neighborhood leaders meeting and participated in discussions on biking hazards and other issues important to living in a healthy, vibrant city.
– I joined a local group of WordPress-powered bloggers* to learn more about the platform and, more important, discover fun plug-ins. I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I’m on the agenda for next month to discuss building community in blogging. (Like I’m an expert.)
– At the WP meeting I found out about a local event being held this weekend and not only am I attending, I volunteered to greet people and/or serve as a room monitor. I have no idea what a room monitor does, exactly, but I hope it involves a whistle and a sash!
– I attended the monthly meeting of Walk-Bike Memphis to learn more about upcoming programs to make my city more attractive (and safe!) for folks on foot or skinny wheels.
So even though I’m not overflowing with self-confidence, I’m getting out, trying new things, and meeting new people. If I wait until my comfort level is at 100%, I suspect I’d be here for a while. In fact, of the things I did over the last week, I probably would have only tried a couple of them in years past.
My question for you today (which you are not required to answer, but perhaps to consider) is if you’re letting your extra weight and how you feel about yourself hold you back from seeking out opportunities to meet new people or try new things. Are there(non-exercise-y) things you want to do now, but you just don’t feel comfortable striking out and giving them a try? If so, I hope you’ll dig deep and step out boldly. But before you do. . .
A cautionary note: I had a plan for today that included getting lots of things done. Unfortunately, all that planning must have worn me out, because I overslept. As I was dashing around the house trying to cram an hour’s worth of getting ready into 10 minutes, I stopped to check the weather. Ah, 40-ish° Definitely needed my base layers on! Had to go all the way into the kitchen, which required a stop at the almond tin, to grab the base layers and my t-shirt off the dryer, and then had to stop at the fruit bowl before completing all the other necessities of getting myself ready to show the world how much I have to offer it!
The good news is that I got out the door. The bad news is that I didn’t manage to actually complete all those necessities I mentioned. As I was barreling into Starbucks for a caffeine/warmth boost, I felt a definite draft around my hindquarters. Looking down, I saw that I had never slipped my pants on over my base layers.
I was storming Starbucks in my longjohns!
Fortunately they’re black, so I don’t think anyone noticed, but it was definitely one of those moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I waited until I got back to my car and chose laughter. All day long.
So, yes, get out and about and experience life! But first, put on your pants.
*I found the WordPress bloggers through meetup.com, which lists local meet-ups for a bunch of cities. It’s not just limited to bloggers. Almost any topic/interest has a meet-up group, and if not, you can start one!