“To be vulnerable – to really put yourself out there, and lean into it – is to live courageously.” Brene Brown.
I often feel a bit lonely, as we moved to Edinburgh (albeit 2 years ago!) and I don’t know many people here, so when I started going out to toddler groups and doing other activities with O, I really enjoy getting out and about. O loves playing and interacting with other kids and I get a chance to talk to real-life human beings! Obviously it is for O’s benefit primarily but I get to enjoy it too which is really nice 🙂 and I’ve also met a few mums that I get along well with.
So, last week I took the plunge and sent a text off to two mum’s asking to meet up for a play date this week. This is so unlike me, I never put myself out there for fear of rejection, so it’s totally outside my comfort zone. But what’s the worst that could have happened? They said no? I’m not going to lie, it would have upset me but I’m sure I would have come to terms with it. But they didn’t! I’m really proud of myself for doing it and I hope I get to know them better, start a friendship and set up more play dates so O has some children to play with. It could maybe lead to meet ups without the kids, you never know!
How could I sit back, feeling lonely, without putting myself out there? People aren’t mind readers – I was waiting for people to come to me, maybe they would have sooner or later, but it’s a two-way street. They had invited us to a group play date at the park a few weeks back, which we went to and had a great time. It’s important to put yourself out there and hopefully people return the favour. We have soft play set up for Wednesday and a park day on Friday near the marina if the weather is nice – here’s hoping as it’s lovely surroundings.
Putting yourself out there places you in such a vulnerable position and this is what I am scared of. You open yourself up to judgement, everybody judges, but not all judge in the way I thought they did. I have always thought most people are sinister, nasty, vile creatures who just want to be awful and exclude you – but that just isn’t the case. I always wonder what people think of me and if they talk about me behind my back, but do people really have the time to talk about me? No, probably not. I haven’t given them anything to talk about either – so what would they being say?! This is such a new concept to me and I hope I do it more in the future, life is so short and I don’t want to look back and regret not doing anything about it.
Life is in your hands, only you can change it.
So, here’s my top tips for putting yourself out there –
Keep things in perspective:
You are not the only one that feels scared and worries about putting yourself out there and being rejected, I think it’s really important to know that. For me asking people to do something is really scary. But I now think, what if that person feels the same way? What if they don’t want to ask me because they don’t know me very well, or they are scared incase I say no to them? How can you moan about feeling lonely but not do anything about it? Looking at the bigger picture, I found a way to deal with it – ask them myself! Stop procrastinating and take the plunge! It’s not as scary as you think and if the outcome isn’t what you want, you will learn and grow from it.
A life of “oh well’s” rather than “what if’s”:
I now often wonder when I look back on my life, will I have a long list of regrets? And am I happy with that prospect? No, I’m really not. 25 years has passed me by in an instant and it scares me just how short life really is. I don’t want to regret things I could have easily fixed myself, and socialising is one of those things. I’m still really young (so they say), I can start again and have a long happy life filled with new people and friendships. This really hit home with me, and I’m sure it will do the same for you!
Make a habit of it:
I feel the best way of becoming comfortable with the idea of putting yourself out there, is to do it regularly. Make a habit out of it, and you’ll see yourself grow.
Accept things go wrong:
Life doesn’t go as planned all the time – that’s a given. Expect some knocks along the way, but push through the down’s and thrive on the up’s. Focus on the positives in life and forget the negatives, we can get bogged down with things we can’t change; what’s the point in that?
I hope these tips inspire you. If you are feeling a bit lonely, why not put yourself out there and arrange a mate date? If you attend toddler groups, arrange a play date with one of the parents – most of us are in the same boat. We spend most of our day indoors and/or with our little people – it’s nice having adult conversation!