Monday, March 28, 2011

Week Three - Stop Hiding

Commando Steve said: "Amy, for this challenge I want you to break out of your shell. You’re clearly a bubbly, sociable person – but are you so confident without your computer screen? Each day this week I want you to approach someone different and strike up a face to face conversation with them. Online chats and forum posts won’t count towards this challenge.

You’ll get extra kudos for speaking to people from different walks of life - someone from your Zumba class you've never spoken to, the guy at the coffee shop, an elderly person, a bus driver, business person or backpacker. Too easy? Well, I also want you to include a potential love interest in there too. It’s time to stop hiding and get out there!"  (click here for original post)

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I'm nervous guys... very very nervous... !   I know most of you would assume that I'm quite a 'talkative, social' person, but the reality is very, very different!  I'm naturally quiet, I get terribly anxious when I need to meet new people (least of all talk to them), and my conversational skills are appalling!!!   It's not for lack of wanting to fix it, it's just something else that is in transition aswell...

You see, it goes a little something like this....   When I was young, I was quiet and shy - always have been!  Can't remember a time when I wasn't....   HATED having to answer the phone, least of all converse in person, socialising with friends was hard, and oh my gosh.... don't even get me started on school presentations!!!  (YUCK to public speaking - I would nearly cry!!!).   Add an increasing weight issue to that problem over the years, and another 20 odd years of being insanely self-conscious, and my "social skills" are atrocious!!!

When I was going through my "worst patch" in my early 20s, I'd literally taken myself out of having to socialise and talk to people - it was all 'too hard'. It was far easier for me to be a recluse and talk to my walls than to extend myself into an area that I was simply far too uncomfortable.  I had nothing to back it - the confidence didn't exist and when I felt like I was worthless anyway, clearly what I had to say was worthless too, right?!   (no, not right, but I couldn't see past that at the time....).

Having successfully removed myself from humanity, you can imagine how hard it was to try and reintroduce myself back in a couple years ago, when I made the choice to change my life. It was one element that I knew I'd have to push myself to work on, continually....   It's also why I felt so "at home" in the BLC forums, when I found a 'voice' I otherwise didn't have in the real world.  And ofcourse, when I went solo with my business, it DEMANDED that I step up and start communicating - it would simply fail without me driving it.

So began the task of "self-talking" my way into talking!!   "FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT" became the mantra of choice - I would literally have a conversation with myself in front of the mirror before I'd go and talk to my client... trying to preempt what I'd need to say, and sway myself away from wanting to revert and hide in the corner...   I would go over and over basic phone-answering skills in my head - so I could avoid the anxiety attack I'd have when the phone would ring (and I'm STILL bad with that).  And ofcourse, smiling and laughing (great "space fillers") became my backup - let THEM do the talking, I'll just smile and nod...!!!!!!  (don't laugh - it works!).

And ofcourse, that doesn't even begin to cover the issues I have talking to the opposite sex...  O.O

This being shy business is a HUGE disadvantage for a girl like me - my lack of confidence and inability to talk or make eye contact makes me appear like a bit of an "Ice Princess" - aloof, nasty, unapproachable, unfriendly... and I'm actually not that way at all! I have ALOT of time for the right people, and it hurts when I've always been so isolated from everyone because of my inept social skills...  This has GOT to change... it's a necessity!

YES, I DO hide behind the words on my screen - it's become my "communication of choice" as I've been transitioning with my weightloss and trying to figure out who I am and how I fit!  It's my outlet to the world, where I can talk and laugh and socialise... but it DOES have its limitations.   There's only so much 'reality' to be drawn from a social life based on a computer... and as I've found, you're still effectively "alone" in the room....

I DID laugh when I read this challenge though - I KNEW how hard this one was going to be for me!  It's something I struggle with on a daily basis (particularly as I now work for myself at home - the cat doesn't exactly hold much of a conversation himself, hahaha!)...   SO the thought of having to proactively go out and seek a conversation was somewhat daunting...

I KNOW you guys think I'm "Little Miss Chatty" - clearly I have no issues with voicing my opinions and conversations here online - but when it comes down to the face-to-face side of life, I have a LONG way to go.... ! This week's challenge is definitely going to test me, and I'm VERY nervous at the prospect!  It takes alot of energy for someone like me to focus and "prep" a convo - I even get nervous talking to my friends and colleagues who have known me for years (and where's the 'danger' in THAT?!!!).  It's an irrational fear and something I'm always working on - and probably always will...

SO bring it on Week Three!  Let's see what the shy girl over here can do THIS WEEK!!!

"Hi, I'm Amy!  How's your day been..?" ......   *just breathe*.... !!!!



  1. Darling girl you've hit the nail on the head. Just breathe. And smile. That gorgeous, brilliant smile of yours will sway the hardest of hearts. Like everything else you put your mind to during this challenge, while it may shake you to your very core, will be an essential part of your rebirth.

    Go get 'em gorgeous xx

  2. What she said.

    You can do this. I think the "fake it til my make it." is a good way to go into it (says she just off to an interview where I will be doing exactly the same thing)

    And remember, they're just people, just as valid as you are, with their dreams and hopes and opinions. They eat and drink and go to the loo and put their trousers on one leg at a time. Nothing to be scared of at all.

    Courage, mate, courage.


  3. I have supreme confidence in you. And as a shybe myself I know how gutwrenchingly hard it will be - but you have conquered bigger things already.

  4. I thought this challenge looked tricky - then I looked at the "including a potential love interest" and went cold all over. Think I may have stopped breathing. That's twisting the knife! Quel horror! Amazingly, I see no problem with YOU talking to a potential love interest, you're so pretty and have such a gorgeous smile. Isn't it amazing how these things are all about perspective?!

  5. Whoah, this is a huge challenge. But one that you can master. You're ready.

    Smile. Breathe. Smile again and walk over to that person you're going to talk to. Remind yourself that they're shy too. As an official 'outgoing' person myself, it's not an instinct, it's a skill that has to be worked on.

    Go for it! :)

  6. Awwww thankya ladies!!! WISH I had as much confidence on this one as you guys think I have, hahaha... I'm already nervous just sitting thinking about it again..

    And Jac, I absolutely LAUGHED OUT LOUD when I heard about the love interest thing... They clearly don't realise I've been invisible to men my entire life and I have NO clue how to talk to them... FULL STOP!

    Definitely going to be an "interesting" week...!!! o.O

  7. If you could see the amazing women we see...well you'd know that she'll ace this challenge.

  8. Whats the worst thing thats going to happen Amy?.. they will answer you back.. thats all.. put it into perspective and take a deep breath... you no longer have to worry about what you think they might be thinking about what they see in front of them because i can guarentee you that they will see a beautiful confident woman... and with the "love potential" issue.. how dauntingly exciting... you're now one of those women that men turn their heads at.. you're stunning!... you are worth it and you're amazing!.. Go for it!!...