Being Awkward is the First Step


One of my strengths is that I am a proactive go-getter. I am pretty shameless about trying to get what I want, and I never really feel weird about it.

Lately, though, I have been realizing that being a go-getter in the real world can mean putting yourself in awkward positions.

Like really awkward, such as...

...Finding a way to get invited to an important meeting in a huge conference room and being greeted with stares and confused faces because I am the youngest person there and no one knows my name...

...Going to a cocktail party with all the partners and executive directors and awkwardly "fumbling" through my purse until I finally gather enough courage to go put myself out there...

Even for a huge extrovert like myself, I felt nervous and shy. I honestly thought to myself, "Should I just go home...? I don't feel like myself, and this might just be a waste of my time."

But then I thought, "How am I going to get myself to the next desired destination of my life/career with this mentality? I need to do this in order to get to where I want to be."

So I pushed forward and accomplished everything I had in mind, despite the awkwardness.

I confidently entered that conference room with a smile on my face and sat down at that table as if I was originally supposed to be there. I firmly shook hands with the people there and introduced myself.

At the happy hour, I stopped fumbling through my purse and struck up a conversation with the first person I made eye contact with, and my extroverted nature helped me regain confidence through the rest of the night.

In both the situations I illustrated in this post, I left the events feeling glad I had decided to stick it out. Many relationships began those days and have been important in growing my network and strengthening my brand within the firm. It also led to an offer to work on a high profile deal that I am really enjoying working on.

Let's think about it like this. What do you think will matter more to you on the day you retire: how awkward you felt when you made that initial first step OR the handsome rewards that resulted from your decision to keep pushing forward despite feeling awkward?

For me, it would be the latter.

Thank you for reading.

Best,
Phyllis


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