I am an introvert. More specifically, I am an introvert who shuns most human interaction that does not come in the form of my children, husband or a drive-thru barista. People are just not “my thing.” Forget about girls’ nights out and inviting me to a social gathering. For a long time, I would rather do anything than attend something where I felt forced to hold conversation with people I had never met.
Then I started saying “yes.”
In May, I was asked to go on a girls beach trip. This was SO far out of my comfort zone. Four days away from my house and family. No kids around as far as the eye can see. WITH PEOPLE I DIDN’T KNOW. To me, this was a recipe for a big fat “Nope!!” But I went. And guess what … I loved it.
Now I have some awesome women in my life that I consider good friends. This wouldn’t have happened had I said “no.” I am even looking forward to doing it again next year.
I am a member of the Junior League of Baton Rouge, as are hundreds of other women in the area. Meetings and gatherings used to bother me, but now I leave motivated and usually making new friends. I don’t dread going like I used to. I joined so that I could put myself out there … to try to broaden my social horizon. A couple of years ago I was asked to joined but always said “no.” I was afraid. I didn’t want to (I thought at the time) meet new people or do new things. I am so glad that I said “yes” to joining. It is a wonderful organization with a wonderful group of women that I am loving being a part of.
When we step out of our comfort zone, as funny and as awkward as it feels as the time, we are doing a huge service to ourselves. We are putting ourselves out there, making new connections, making new friends, being bold. There are many times that I want to stay home, sit, read and be surrounded by the familiar things. I’ve found that by saying “yes” to the things I dread actually helps me. Networking is great for my career. Meeting new moms is great for those times that I need to vent and when my kids need playmates. Learning about life outside of your bubble is done by getting out there, being daring and feeling awkward.
There is no way of knowing the amount of fun and relationships I have missed out on over the years because I said “no.” There are still many things that I would love to do without a second thought (taking a class alone for starters), and I will get there.
I am always going to be that person that texts you from the parking lot when arriving to the restaurant to see where you are sitting so I won’t have to walk in blindly. I will probably always second-guess agreeing to do something with you out of fear. Staying home will always sound so much better to me. By saying “yes” more, I have learned to deal with change in a better way. Every experience we have shapes us into something bigger and better. I think if you started saying “yes” to more things, you would really surprise yourself.