SNEAKER: LAST MINUTE TRIP
“It was just over 24 hours before we would be leaving for the airport. How was I going to be ready in that little time?”
SNEAKER: Stop worrying so much about
always being PERFECTLY prepared
Submitted by Laurie M.
GOAL: Stop worrying so much about always being PERFECTLY prepared
EXPLANATION: I find that I am so caught up in being afraid of being under prepared and terrified of having to “wing” anything, that I spend far too much time over-preparing to make sure everything is PERFECT before it ever sees the light of day. While this means that I present a good face to the world and impress people with my skills and professionalism, it also means that I am frequently exhausted with far too little free time. I need to learn to find a balance and trust that simply “preparing” is enough.
MY SNEAKER LIST:
1. Draw a picture with my opposite hand (Note to self: It won’t be perfect and that’s okay)
2. Mess up my desk & don’t touch it for a week (Note to self: Just because there is disorder, doesn’t mean it is impossible to function)
3. Go to a meeting without a pen or any other writing utensil (Note to self: Learn to rely more on others)
4. Play a board game that I haven’t tried before (Note to self: I may not win but I can still have a good time)
5. Send an e-mail update to friends and family without re-reading it first (Note to self: Trust that there may be mistakes but friends and family won’t care)
6. Take a pottery class and create and paint an imperfect piece (Note to self: Live with imperfection)
7. Try a new sport (Note to self: Understand that I won’t win the Gold medal first time out)
8. Take an improvisation class (Note to self: Learn to be spontaneous)
SNEAKER: PRETEND TO BE OUTGOING
Here it is:
I’m packing for a week at sleep-away camp, the summer before 5th grade, when I suddenly have a Eureka moment. No one at this camp knows me. They don’t KNOW that I’m shy. So I could just show up and ACT OUTGOING, and people will think I’m outgoing. If the experiment failed, it would sure be a looong week. But there would be a light at the end of the tunnel: camp would end and I’d never see any of these people again. So I decide to give it a shot.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH…
I arrive at camp and say goodbye to my parents. Then I walk up to the first girl I see, and imitate every outgoing girl I’ve ever met. I prepare to speak up, smile big, and act as if we are already friends. “HI!,” I say, in a much louder voice than my usual meek tones. “I’m Jamie. What’s your name?”
The girl smiled back, and was one of the many new friends I made that week at camp. It’s been 25 years, and I’m still not a naturally outgoing person. But I remind myself before every networking event and professional cocktail party to “get my sneakers dirty,” by acting outgoing. I’ve helped my career (and my husband’s) immensely due to my apparent outgoing personality at work-related functions. And I’ve made friends and real connections with others, especially with shy people. As a shy person myself, I know exactly how they feel, and how nice it is when an extrovert walks right up and introduces herself.