I’ve been there. You enter a room for the first time with people you’ve never met before and suddenly you get clammy hands, your breathing becomes shallow gulps, and you can feel your heart beating a high school drum line in your chest. Been there, done that, and refuse to do it again.
The sad part is, I’ve done it in a group of people I’ve known. It’s really not a good feeling. You want someone––anyone––to come over and talk to you, to notice you and say hello. We’ve felt that way before, the girls and I, and because we have, we hate to see others feel that way.
And it’s not just wallflowers. That includes all of those who for one reason or another feel as if they’ve been forced to ride the bench during the game. No one deserves to be sidelined. Everyone should have a chance to participate if they so desire. Sometimes, all it takes is for one person to stretch past their comfort zone, reach out a hand and say, “Hello. What’s your name?”
The girls and I have determined to be those arms. It’s important to us that people feel included, part of whatever is going on around them. We don’t like to see people sitting alone, staring at the others, wishing that they could be a part of some group, any group. Therefore, we step out of our circle of comfort and extend a greeting and ask questions.
And you know what? We have met some amazing people by pushing past our fears, people who have become great friends. I’ve also been able to work with some talented people because I wanted to include them and in that process, I’ve discovered what others had yet to find, a diamond that just needed buffing a bit. I’ve learned things I never knew before and the new friendship has increased my ability to be creative. Oh, don’t get me wrong. There have been some people we quickly stepped away from and never looked back. It’s not all roses and cream. However, that number is far fewer than the fantastic people we’ve met and if we had never stepped out, forcing ourselves to say hello, we would have been the ones who missed out.
Don’t allow fear to hold you back and keep you on the sidelines or against the wall, wishing you could be part of the conversation. Step out. Reach out. Say hello. Ask questions and get to know someone new. Laugh. And in the doing, you will live.
And don’t allow people to be wallflowers. Be the first to step out and ask them to join you. It’s amazing what comes your way while being friendly. You gain by opening yourself up to others and being the gardener that brings the wallflower to life, watching them bloom in their own success. By reaching out, you could be the reason they grow, and that is an amazing feeling.
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Until next time, keep chasing your fantasies!