Often in life we choose to stay safe because it’s comfortable, like a pair of warm socks on a chilly evening. But safe doesn’t move mountains; it doesn’t force us to step outside of our comfort zone and it certainly doesn’t allow us to experience the full spectrum of life experiences that ultimately shape and color our journey on this planet.
If you’ve followed along for any length of time, you know that I struggle (and I don’t use that word loosely) with anxiety. There are days I don’t wanna’, some days I simply can’t, and others when I want to hide away from the world. But lately, I’m learning to mentally prepare myself to face the music and do things that nudge me outside of my comfort zone. Because what I find is that each experience teaches me something I never would have learned if I had just said no.
Last week I experienced epic levels of panic and anxiety. What do I wear? Would I trip in my heels? What do I have to say to people in a formal environment? A wise friend told me that this was all normal. “Stress now so you don’t have to stress later and recognize this as a part of the process.” She was completely right. Maybe I don’t have to feel anything other than pure acceptance that the weird inexplicable behavior I experience when I step outside my comfort zone is a part of my process. As I boarded an Amtrak train for Albany for my first-ever work trip, I pulled out my computer to write and I listened to the sound of the train whistle. I stared out the window and looked at the fast-moving landscape just outside the clear rectangle.
I meditated on what is and what was yet to come. By the time I checked into my room at the Hilton, I was ready.
That evening, as I sat in a room full of executives and sales people for a cocktail party and dinner, I was shocked by how calm I felt. WHY AM I NOT FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW?! I wondered if it would hit me later, but it never did. For the first time in a long while, I felt self-assured, bolstered by my knowledge of the influencer marketing industry and happy to talk to anyone who wanted to know a bit more about how it all works. And Saturday, I got to meet TAMARA (go to her blog here) and I pretty much fainted because I just pink puffy heart her so much. I also met David of Spiced Blog and he is a doll and I simply had the best time ever.
When was the last time you psyched yourself up about something that turned out to be nothing like you imagined it? Also, shout out to the bloggers I met this weekend–the pleasure was all mine <3