Last week I was invited to dinner downtown by a girl friend for a potential business collaboration. I had the chance to dress up a little, eat sushi, be kid-free, and meet and talk with other like-minded women. Sounds dreamy, right? Well, not if you are an introvert like me. For a week I was seriously dreading the whole affair. Nothing hits my nerves like meeting new people, on my own, in a setting that I rarely enter. I love to get out with girl friends, but I have a small group of women that I’m comfortable going out with, and we never venture so far as a hot restaurant downtown. In fact, I had the chance that night to just go get frozen yogurt with a few blogging friends in town, but when I asked my husband which invite I should take, he told me there was no question. I definitely needed to go to the meeting that scared me to death.
The whole day I was just overwhelmed with anxiety about it all. Of course I stressed about what to wear, too. I really wanted to wear something white, like this blouse, because I can never keep white clean when I’m around my kids. After changing several times, I finally ended up in white denim and a chambray top, which worked, but I was 20 minutes late to dinner (not a stress reliever – let me tell you!). I even forgot business cards, but I did remember to pack a few earrings to share so that I could talk about our business.
I’d love to say that once I got there-,everything was fine – and it kind of was. But emotionally, it was a really draining evening. I showed up and was able to meet the other three women I didn’t know, and of course, they were the nicest. They were so genuine and interested in what I had to share that they even bought earrings from me on the spot. I felt so lame for being so worried about it all! But despite feeling like diving into a hole, I was an open book. I ended up expressing how stressed I was to come and meet up and collaborate. I felt about 10 years old, but I was authentic about how hard it was for me to show up and they liked me all the more for it. I am reading Brene Brown’s book called Daring Greatly, and it is all about being courageous and authentic. I can look back on the evening and say I was both of those things, but holy cow was it uncomfortable. I drove home feeling so many emotions – from overwhelmed and exposed to excited and proud of myself. Overall I know there is growth that will come out of pushing myself past my limits, and I plan to keep pushing them. But that doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy it in the moment!
Do you stress about meeting new people? How would you handle something like this?
Well, enough heavy stuff – onto the outfit! This beautiul boho blouse is from a new-to-me online company called Chicwish. I was immediately drawn to their indie and bohemian style. This fringe bag has been my purse of choice lately, and I’ve received compliments every time I’ve used it. Today on the blog, they are giving away a $100 gift card to shop their site! PLUS all new customers get 30% off their first order just by registering and liking them on FB (see giveaway entries below). Boho is super hot this summer, so I’m sure you’ll find something you love at Chicwish.