My Club, The Real Orators #474, is an amazing group of people. I just gave Speech 9 from the Competent Communicator Manual and I received the feedback I needed to hear. The goods and the not so goods. I was nervous. VERY NERVOUS! I shouldn’t be since I have known these folks for over a year, but something inside me was still FULL of butterflies. Their caring eyes and “listening” body language really helped me get over the nerves and deliver message.
Thank you, Toastmasters, for being there for me through thick and thin. You are a wonderful group and I hope to be with you for a very long time.
Get Comfortable with Yourself
Life has many lessons to teach us. There were several I didn’t want to learn but needed to. I am willing to bet there are many lessons I have not yet learned. There is one I am glad I learned at such a young age. One – and it’s a big one – it is that I learned to be comfortable with myself. I’m not saying it is easy. What I am saying is — figure out who you are and get comfortable with the quirks that make you, you.
If you are stuck in that uncomfortable place, please know that I have been there, I am there a bit right now, and I will probably be there again. I will continue to find ways to get unstuck though. I choose to be understanding, joyful, happy, and usually I wind up different from most folks.
Do you feel a tug within you to be judgmental or angry at someone’s actions? I do. I think it is easier to be mean and scornful than to think of flattering things to say to a person that is hurtful towards you. I have days where I struggle with being nasty or thinking disparaging thoughts. That isn’t who I want to be, so I apologize if a said it, delete the comment if I posted it, and try to never say whatever it is that I said, ever again. I’m not perfect, I make mistakes and admit them. I don’t let the mistakes define who I am. I let the positive choices define me.
In high school, my fellow classmates voted me “Most Annoying Female” for the Senior Class. Isn’t that just an awful thing to say to a teenager? Sure, I would wear funny socks and do my hair “weird” SPECIFICALLY to get a reaction out of them so I earned my title. What made me laugh was noticing how they were so cautious to fit in with the crowd. They all had to have the same hair, same clothes, like the same music, and talk the same way. I was never going to have that hair. I was never going to have the newest fashions. Honestly, I never really wanted to be them. I never wanted to be accepted for what my family could afford or what I looked like — I just wanted to be me. And so I was.
I recently learned I need to be more patient with myself. I have always needed more patience, but I didn’t know where it needed to come from. Now I know, it needs to come from here . I am scared I will mess up at my new job. After being let go from my last job, I am more nervous than ever before that I will make a mistake that will be detrimental to my family’s livelihood. I am careful to listen more than I speak. I am keeping my opinion to myself until I am asked for it. I am doing things that make me uncomfortable. While I recognize this makes my skin crawl with discomfort, I know it is best for me, at this moment. There will come a time when I will be free to let my thoughts to flow and make recommendations. I just need to be patient and recognize when the time comes that I can be myself.
I went through a tough previous 18 months where I went without “things” I thought I needed. The skills I learned, friendships I made, and even the pain I went through – paid better than any paycheck could have. I started writing a memoir and I learned how to tend to my orchard. I gave eight speeches – learning and growing with each one thanks to your constructive feedback. I also got stuck a few times when life got hard and I had emotional marathons to run. Yes, I struggled to breathe but I managed to pick myself up and found a way to carry on.
It was those times that made me mindful of the things I have, where I live, and how bountiful my life is. Here I am – today – because I got comfortable with myself again. I choose to be happy and love myself with my differences. Without them, I wouldn’t be the quirky, mismatched sock wearing, giggle loving, thankful person I am.
I am comfortable with me.
Are you comfortable with you?
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