18 May Learning to Break Out of My Shell
LEARNING TO BREAK OUT OF MY SHELL
Everyone goes through different phases in their life. It’s all part of growing up. Part of the process is learning all about yourself. Where there’s an action there’s always a reaction. The way you react to different situations can teach you things about yourself that you never knew. As I mentioned in THIS post, being in Nicaragua has taught me loads about myself (and I’m sure as time goes on I’ll learn even more). One of the things I’ve learned the most is how shy I am…..
I’d like to think that I’m not a shy person. That I’m outgoing and carefree. At least that’s what I thought before I came here. I knew that I don’t open up to any and everybody. I think that’s only natural though. We all hold back part of ourselves from people we’ve just met or ones we might not be that close to. Not everyone can see our most vulnerable parts and that’s ok. But you see, that’s what I enjoy most. Digging deep and revealing some of the most intimate parts of myself and learning about those things in others, it’s so interesting to me. Small talk intimidates and bores me all at the same time. I guess I haven’t really found a happy medium between the two.
For the past week we’ve been visiting some of Candace’s, my roommate, friends in Costa Rica. She’s been friends with this family for almost 20 years. I’m not sure if that fact intimidated me or I was just over analyzing things (I’m pretty sure it was the latter) but I literally shut down. They are seriously come of the sweetest most generous people I’ve met. But you wanna know what my reaction was? Silence. I have never been so quiet in my life. I was super self conscious about saying anything I thought, felt, knew, wanted, etc. It was sad really. No matter how hard I wanted to express myself I just couldn’t figure out how to do so. One day while out and about a member of the family mentioned that they had never been around someone so quiet before. I felt so bad ya’ll. Here I am sitting in the company of really good people and totally NOT being myself. I was coming off as an anti-social jerk. At least that’s the way it felt. I’m glad that was said though. It really made me analyze myself and my actions. Sure I may always have a little bit of shyness in me, and that’s totally ok, but sitting on the sidelines my whole life shutting people out is not how I want to live. Meeting new people, trying new things and traveling is the life that I want. You have so much more fun showing people the real you instead of hiding behind a shadow or using someone else as a crutch or safety net.
I’m sure this will be hard at first but as I continue to do it it’ll come second nature. I won’t even think about it anymore. Being intimidated of meeting new people and being so self conscious about what others might think will no longer have an effect on me. I will be unapologetically me and not feel an ounce of regret about it. I have a game plan in action. I’ve decided to start small. For example, while at gatherings with people I don’t know I have a habit of finding a corner and loving it. I could pretty much stay there the whole night. No more of that. My goal is to find one person, just one person, in the crowd that I can muster up the courage to talk to. This totally goes against my introvert ways but you never know who you might meet and who you connect with. I’m sure I’ll have to remind myself of this small goal every so often, but I’m determined to do it. I suspect I’ll look back on this blog post in a couple years and wonder why in the world I even acted like that in the first place. Yea…..I can’t wait until that happens.
Learning to break out of my shell won’t be an easy process but it’ll be worth it. Many friends and experiences down the line I’m sure my older self will thank my younger self for taking such a step. How about you guys? Did you have to break out of your shell or are you learning to break out of your shell? How did you do it and why? I wanna know! Thanks for reading! Talk to ya next week!