Something very unexpected happened at work a few days ago. I was asked to co-host our department’s upcoming annual Arts Gala.
I think the first words out of my mouth were, “I’m way too shy to do something like that.” But before I even finished the sentence, I knew it wasn’t true.
I’m not shy. I may have been shy when I was six years old, but that was a long time ago. Continuing to impose that label on myself, as an adult, keeps me stuck in a limited world where I don’t grow and stretch beyond my comfort zone.
For the past few days I’ve been mulling this proposal over. But there’s nothing to mull. I know I have to do this.
Oh shit…I have to do this.
I’ve never even hosted a dinner party, let alone a gala. All the horrible scenarios have flashed through my mind: what if my voice is shaky, what if I flub up my words, what if I freeze, what if I sweat profusely? What if I can’t hack it, what if people laugh at me? What if I make a complete fool of myself and am embarrassed forever and can’t ever show my face at work again?
What if I love it? What if I get really excited, and come alive speaking in front of a crowd? What if I discover a talent I never knew existed? What if it allows me to envision a whole new set of possibilities for myself? What if it’s fun?
I’ve been asking for change and expansion, and here I’ve been delivered a (seemingly) out of the blue opportunity to do something completely different from the norm. Perhaps the universe is in fact listening, and bringing to me exactly what I seek – albeit not in the way I would have pictured. (But then, isn’t that often the way?)
The invitation to co-host also makes me see how our self-perceptions can be so skewed in relation to how others see us. I often feel a bit awkward and uneasy in a crowd. My colleagues perceive something else; I was approached because they agreed I would be “amazing” for the gig.
Others really do see in us what we can’t see in ourselves. The beauty, potential, and possibilities. I am very appreciative and grateful for this chance to see it for myself.
I haven’t officially said yes, but I’m going to. I want to rise to the challenge of doing something that scares me. I need to know – for myself – that when I’m asking for change and growth, I really mean it. That I’m not going to deny the opportunity for metamorphosis when it presents itself. If I wait till I’m actually comfortable with this, I’ll be waiting forever.
‘No’ is just not an option at this point. I’m far too intrigued by what’s on the other side of that fear.