Friday, February 26, 2016

Awkward is the New Normal

What's your normal?

I've been working on a presentation for the OKWB Mini-Con conference, talking about words and why they matter. I mention things like believing in yourself, investing in yourself and having confidence. Which is sort of ironic since confidence is not my normal—awkwardness is.

Thinking about that led me to make this fancy little meme here. Because that's my normal—spectacular awkwardness.

I'm trying to be more confident. I have skills and reasons to be confident,but it's not a feeling that comes readily to me. Awkwardness is sort of a shield. If I put my awkward self forward, I can hide behind it and make you laugh and trick you into thinking I have self-confidence. Or can I? While talking to a friend recently, she saw through my awkward straight to the self-loathing. Maybe that shield is more transparent than opaque?

A few years ago, my daughter was really struggling with her emotions and attitude. I told her that every morning when she woke up, she had a choice to make—be happy or don't. It's easier to choose don't, being happy sometimes takes a lot of work. But eventually, it doesn't. Being happy becomes your new normal. Because you can't chase happiness, you have to choose happiness.

I'm realizing now that self confidence is the same. You can choose to be confident or not. What does that mean for me?

As I was practicing my presentation, one of my major slide points is investing in yourself as a writer, and the various ways that this could be accomplished. One of the biggest investments a writer needs to make is time—if something is important to you, you must make time for it. I'm not good at that. I invest time in everyone and everything around me, but very rarely myself.

So I'm going to choose self-confidence. I'm going to invest in myself. I'm still going to lead with awkward but not so much as a shield anymore. I remember something I read, I think maybe in Oprah Magazine, might have been Iyanla Vanzant—you have to fill your own cup first, or you'll have nothing to give, because what you give is what spills over when your own cup is full. You have to take care of yourself, meet your own needs and fill up your cup because you can't pour from an empty cup.

So I'm off to the OKWB Mini-Con to fill my cup to overflowing and I can't wait.

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