After getting off the bus in the late afternoon, yesterday, I drove twenty minutes north to attend a Toastmasters meeting. I have never really been the first one to speak up in a group setting. I have always been content to stay silent and let others speak for me.
As I have gotten older, I have become keenly aware that my lack of visibility in team meetings, and group outings can have a detrimental affect on how I perceive myself, and how I am perceived by others.
I guess what I am saying is that when you choose to behave like you are invisible in life, don’t expect many opportunities to come your way.
Naturally, I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP). For me to actively extrovert throughout the day, it thoroughly drains me. When I get home, I feel like I had run a twenty five mile marathon. I conserve energy by purposefully not taking in all the sights and sounds that occur around me, on a daily basis. Working in a loud single room with dozens of cubicles causes my soul to wither.
With all the distractions and obligation to extrovert in order to win the favor of my extroverted manager, I feel like an abject failure, at the end of the day. Even when things go well, they don’t really. My job doesn’t fit me, my coworkers for the most part don’t fit me, the work is something I could walk away from today, and not feel the slightest bit of remorse. God, this is starting to sound depressing.
Getting back to why I went to a Toastmasters meeting, I wanted to do something outside the norm for me. I already feel anxious about my career, and what lays ahead of me in the near future, but to push myself slightly more outside my comfort zone, it feels exhilarating. It gives me a sense of hope that maybe, just maybe, I can be something different, I can reimagine myself and my future.
In order to make a career shift, it will take persistence and dedication. It is scary not being able to see what is just over the hill, but then again it is also exhilarating too. Life is a journey, it is meant to be experienced. I want to get to the end of my life and look back and be proud of what I have accomplished. So far, I cannot say that about myself, for the most part.
If you never take chances in life, and strive to grow into a better version of yourself, life becomes stagnant and you run the risk of missing out on some great opportunities.
So, my advice for myself and you is…get out there and take measured chances, speak to new people, learn new things, grow a little every day. Your soul will thank you for the effort.