I was sitting in a bar, not too far away from where I worked with a man that wasn’t my husband.
Who was I with?
John (for the sake of this story), the man who had my job before me.
What was I doing there?
Getting all the dirt.
I had met John the year before because he and I were part of a team of assistant principals who were paired up to do professional development together.
The thing is, he was there our first month, and then gone the next, and the next, and the next.
None of us knew what had happened to him.
There were rumors, but none of us knew the truth.
So, that is why I found myself sitting across from him sharing a beer.
I wanted to know the truth.
Over the course of almost 2 hours, he shared his story.
He shared his frustration.
He shared his anger.
He shared his resentment.
He shared his pain.
And I was right there along with him.
Looking back now, I know that I wasn’t really looking for the truth.
That is a complete lie.
What I was looking for was validation.
I was looking for someone else to commiserate with.
I was looking for someone else to share in my misery.
I was looking for someone else to stand with me, so we could point our fingers in the same direction--AT HER.
And where did that get me?
NOTHING about my situation changed after that beer.
If anything, it only made my suffering greater, and my situation worse.
I was playing the victim and colluding with another victim, so we could stand in our righteousness of victimhood together.
If only I had gotten out of my stance of “poor me” and gotten into a stance of “yes me”, I would have seen how much I COULD have changed about the situation, if only I had tried.
I would have seen how I could have shifted myself from a position of PAIN to a position of POWER.
I would have seen how I could in fact change my shitty work situation.
Now, some of you might be reading this and thinking, “I have no power, they are my boss.”
Trust me, you have a whole lot more power than you think you do.
It's time to unleash it.
Let's Create Community, Not Competition
P.S. If you are entrenched in a shitty work situation because of a difficult boss or colleague, I invite you to come hang out with me on Facebook, where I share advice and support every day.
Those of you who are introverts are pissed right now.
You are saying “How dare she say that to me!”
My opinion: Personality tests are stupid.
I have taken my share of them, and I don’t like them.
They put me in a box and then I use that label as an excuse for why I can’t, or won’t, do x, y, or z.
They put you in a box too, and give you an excuse just like me.
I am a so-called extrovert.
That means that I should feel comfortable putting myself out there.
That I shouldn’t ever have to deal with fear of what others think.
That I shouldn’t ever have to deal with feeling insecure or lacking confidence.
All of which is BS.
I am often uncomfortable with people.
I am almost always afraid of what people think.
I am quite often insecure and lacking confidence.
You, on the other hand, might be an introvert, so you should just stay at home, right?
You should stick behind your computer screen and connect where you are comfortable.
Whether you are an introvert or extravert, that label keeps you safe, while at the same time limiting your potential.
The truth is, you have a choice.
I have a choice.
Every moment of every day you can choose to be whomever you want to be.
You can chose to be extraverted.
You can chose to be outgoing.
You can chose to be confident.
Or you can chose to be introverted.
You can chose to be shy.
You can chose to be reticent.
When I work with people around confidence I often hear some form of, “I can’t do that, I am too shy,” or “I can’t go to networking events, I am too introverted,” or “I can’t do that, it just isn’t who I am.”
The thing is, as an extravert and I say and think those same things too.
Most of the time, it doesn’t work for me.
How is it working for you?
Are you getting what you want out of life?
Out of your career or business?
Out of your relationships?
So, I ask you to look at areas of your life where you are struggling, and see if you might be using “being an introvert” or “being an extravert” or “it’s not me” as an excuse to sit back rather than take action. To judge, rather than connect.
Whether an introvert or extravert, we all have to be vulnerable to grow and connect.
And it is only through being vulnerable again and again, that we can get more comfortable being vulnerable.
So stop using “it’s not who I am” as an excuse, and get out there and live boldly.
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.