What Matters Mondays – September 26, 2016

September 26th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Last week, I was heading to a conference. Before I got on my plane I had gone to two different stores to buy a new journal. I’m not sure if you are like me, but I love a new journal and I really love one that connects with my mindset for what I am going to learn. I have never gone to buy a new journal and not found one, but after two stores and no connection to the message on the journals, I left empty handed. I came home and decided I would have to take one of my old journals. Again, I looked for one that had lots of pages left to write on and a great message. Still nothing. So I just grabbed one with lots of space to write in. Little did I know…it was the EXACT message I was meant to have.

 

Now…

I have a confession to make.

I am a weirdo.

I am an introvert.

I don’t do well in large groups.

Especially large groups of extroverted people.

They are loud, sociable, they like hugging and dancing and they make me feel invisible.

Actually the truth is…I make myself feel invisible.

 

Now for those of you who know me well, you may be saying, “Danielle an introvert? NOT A CHANCE!”

People think I am this confident, outgoing person because I…

Get on stage and speak to large groups.

Run workshops.

Have lots of friends.

Love to make people laugh.

Love to tell stories.

 

But here’s the deal…

I prefer small gatherings of people.

I’d choose a pub over a dance bar any day.

I’m happiest at home with my family.

I like spending time alone. In fact, I need alone time.

I prefer time with 1-2 friends rather than a room full of people.

Being on stage, I get to create the energy level and the way I deliver my talk. I will always choose authenticity and storytelling over big and flashy.

In my workshops I create the atmosphere that works for me and I attract the clients who love that too. My atmosphere is calm, genuine and full of deep connection, vulnerability, stories and laughter.

I need time to decompress after I am around a lot of high energy.

Sometimes I go and sit in my car in the middle of the day just to get away.

I love silence.

 

Last week, I put myself into a really awkward situation. I attended a conference where the extrovert energy was palpable the minute I walked through the door.

 

This is where my gremlins have a blast…

You don’t belong here.

No one even notices you.

These aren’t your people.

You are too different.

You have to change to fit in here.

You have to be brave and be more like them.

You don’t belong here.

 

I learned many things that first day:

  1. The introvert in me is truly overwhelmed. Loud voices, hugging, dancing, invites to sit together while I head to a table alone are all too much for me at times.
  2. My gremlins have already convinced me I shouldn’t be here and I’m buying it!
  3. My “shoulds” are running the show.

I should love this…everyone else is.

I should stay all day…I paid for this.

I should mingle and dance and hug…everyone else is.

I should, I should, I should…and yet I can’t!

 

I went back to my room on the verge of tears after the first day and did some digging and here is what I learned…

I asked myself, “If the work I do is about helping people be brave in their lives then why can I not be brave right now?”

 

And then my AHA moment came!

 

Brave is being real and honest.

Brave is doing what I need.

Brave is listening to my heart not my head and all those “shoulds”.

Brave is embracing who I am.

 

Brave is NOT sacrificing those things to try to fit in and be someone I am not.

 

And I realized right there that the bravest thing I could do was BE MYSELF!

 

Then I asked myself what the brave me would do differently. If I was truly being brave I…

Wouldn’t go for the whole day.

I’d enjoy spending time by myself and some time at the conference.

I’d go for a run.

I’d go for a coffee.

I’d work on some business stuff I needed to get done.

I’d stay in bed a little longer.

I’d do what felt right in my heart.

 

And that’s exactly what I did. And it felt so damn good! I felt so happy!

This weirdo, introvert did what felt right and it is one of the bravest things I have ever done!

 

Now back to the journal. I wrote this blog post sitting in the hotel as I reflected on my awkward, challenging day. As I finished writing all these hard truths I felt a huge sigh of relief. I was being honest. I was being ME. So I closed my journal and the words on the front cover almost hit me in the face. BE YOU!

 

I thought I had chosen a journal with an insignificant, unrelated message on it. Little did I know….I chose the exact journal I was meant to choose!

 

What choice can you make today to allow yourself to BE YOU?

 

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