SNEAKER: UP, UP & AWAY!
“I had to sign a release form that said that I understood the risks…uh oh…”
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.
SO, HERE’S THE DEAL…
I’m not sure what comes over me at that moment, but my feet seem to make the decision for me. They just keep walking. Every step I take brings me to another level of “drenched” that I never knew existed. My blue denim capris are now almost black and desperately clinging to my body, my hair is flat down against my head and sticking to my face. I don’t even want to guess what my non-waterproof make-up looks like, and I’m pretty certain my two layers of white tank tops are now giving the world a totally unintended show.
And yet, I don’t melt. In fact, something quite miraculous happens. As I walk by people huddled under awnings or sprinting through crosswalks and I see their expressions as this poor, soaked girl walks by, I start to laugh. I know I can’t get any wetter and since I’m not melting, I just break out into a smile…and walk in the rain. With this walk comes a freedom I have never felt before! I am no longer the girl who freaks out when her hair gets wet or screams like a teenager when a puddle splashes near her. Just by doing all of these seemingly simple (but until recently insurmountable) challenges, I have learned to let go. I may look like a crazy person with smudged make-up and a see-through outfit with a big smile on my face, but I just don’t care. In fact, I kind of like it.
Everyone is at their own step in their readiness to take that first step, and that’s totally fine!
If you’re just here to read other people’s Sneaker experiences, that’s okay! You’ll join us on your own journey outside of your comfort zone when you’re ready.
This is not an advice blog, nor is it a blog that is all about me and my thoughts about life.
The purpose of this blog is to connect a community of people who are all taking part in The Sneaker Experiment©, and who will benefit from reading about each other’s experiences while participating or preparing to participate in this movement.
It is a home to return to again and again as we continue to blaze through our own personal Sneaker Lists.