Thursday, July 30, 2015


As I have gotten older, realization hit that I need to alter my adolescent shyness in the face of meeting strangers. For as long as I can remember I have been standoffish when having to interact with people I didn't know. Even speaking to people over the phone was something I would shy away from. In college, I did not go out of my way to make friends in my classes, which sometimes hindered me if I needed notes. At parties where I do not know anyone it is nerve wracking to look around wishing I could just open my mouth and make conversation. Something in my head holds me back. Could be worry I wouldn't be liked. Could be worry that I will have to come up with something to say yet nothing will come. The intimidation factor is strong and for some reason I have been struggling to overcome. As an introvert, I am independent, prefer to work alone, and often times get irritated with other people's opinions. Avoiding them seems the best option.

Through the last few years I have become much more confident when in a working environment. I answer a phone for a living now so that doesn't bother me. However, when trying to interact with people I still get shy, warm, shaky, and second guess my every word. I have known this needed to change for a while. Besides the fact that I want to make friends, I want to be more personable. How will I be able to make it in a professional position if I get anxious when working with people? In an attempt to change my current state I have been trying to be more outgoing. Instead of standing at the side of the room finding all different ways to blend into the wall, I have been attempting to strike up conversation. 

With my aspirations gaining momentum for my career, I have been putting myself out there more often at work. I went to my VP of my division to discuss my college degree options. I was still over heating and nervous but I did it. After speaking with him, he suggested I contact another gentleman in the field I am considering working toward. I spoke with him over the phone which was easier on the nerves. He suggested I attend a class my company offers. I attended it last week. In a room full of people I didn't know, I sat in the front by myself taking notes and worrying the entire time how to handle the situation. I couldn't leave without saying something to the team in charge since they worked for the man who told me to attend. The last 5 minutes of the class I sat there mentally preparing myself. Figuring out what I should say, if I should say anything, if I should introduce myself, worrying if they will care, worrying if I will look silly. Against my own mental block I strode over to the two in charge and introduced myself. We talked for a few minutes about the material, my position, my goals, and I was invited to come talk any time. I left there with a giant smile on my face, a spring in my step, and a feeling of pure pride in what I accomplished. 

Today, two weeks after speaking with the creative design team lead, and a week after taking the class he suggested, I was told by a coworker that she was asked about me by the design team lead in a professional capacity. Job performance and things of that nature. She was wonderful and told me she had nothing but good things to say. After speaking with her I couldn't stop grinning. Working up the courage to talk to my VP, the design team lead, and then his team felt like a mountain I had to climb. In the end, knowing that I made an impression and could potentially have a contact in the department I see myself striving toward feels so amazing. I have it in me to be great. I have it in me to take hold of my career, meet people, and accomplish the goals I set. I have to have the confidence to do these things. Today has shown me I am on the right track.

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