Sometimes I’m awkward. Especially in larger groups or when I don’t really know anyone else or when I come into an established conversations.
Sometimes I don’t fit in. I worry that I look wrong or I will say the wrong thing or that I don’t understand the group dynamic and might “mess up”.
If I’m quiet, it’s usually one of these two things. And I’m very aware of when I’m in one of these timid states and I struggle to get out of it.
I was especially going through one of these phases right before the holidays. For the first time ever, I did not go home for Christmas. Instead we had my husband’s family here. I was asking a lot of questions about traditions and what I should do and shouldn’t do, what dynamics I should be aware of, trying to learn what I could about people I don’t spend a lot of time with, and planning and making lists and preparing the house the right way (you hear the crazy, right?). I don’t think my husband or his family know this (so if you’re reading... hi! You are NOT scary!). And I think I did a good job hiding my timidity. Proof?
My brother-in-law got me this gorgeous print. He said he thought it was perfect for me. How awesome is that?
In actuality, I had nothing to fear. It took about an hour or so for me to realize that this was going to be easy. Conversations flowed, laughter was continuous, and fun was had by all.
It brings to mind some great advice I got about 10 years ago, from an amazing woman who is a mentor and friend. I was in a new sales position and was rightly nervous about my skills and ability, and my lack of confidence showed. She told me to “fake it til you make it”. I did. And she was right. No one even noticed.
And the picture is hanging in my office for me to see everyday…