Being You – Enjoying Imperfect
I sat in my car in the car park, set my phone timer for 12 mins, closed my eyes, and did a mindful Body Scan, followed by 10 mins of quiet breathing and meditation. All around me cars were parking, people getting out, doors banging. I drifted away to a quiet, interior world, becoming peaceful and ready to approach the next steps.
Which was to attend a marketing workshop with a business networking group of which I’m a member.
Giving myself just those few minutes of personal quiet time before leaving the car helped to tap into my core strength, my centre. I was able to clarify my intention for the meeting [ie: learn more about marketing and meet just two other people].
Many times in the past I’ve attended meetings and events. I’d often left feeling I’d blathered on and made a fool of myself. And carried the guilt and disappointment for days afterwards. This also used to happen sometimes when I went to dinners, weddings or other family events.
Arriving early, taking the quiet time in the car, and going into the meeting in a calm frame of mind helped enormously. I felt calm and centred. What a wild difference to previous times when I’d arrive just in time, breeze into the room unprepared, my mind all over the place, and heart thumping in fear, feeling I had to meet as many people as possible, connect-blah-connect-blah. What a nightmare.
With my intention, I had a focus. A kind of GPS for myself for the time before, during and after the meeting. I was able to fully participate in the training, and because my mind wasn’t distracted by fear which would inhibit my learning ability, I learned loads of new things relevant to my business.
I also met two wonderful women, will be meeting again in the future. We may or may not do business together in the future – whatever happens is fine. Throughout I kept an occasional awareness on my breathing – was it deep or shallow? I’m delighted to say that it was generally deep. When your breathing is shallow, your ability to fully be your powerful self, be present, and actively listen is inhibited.
Let me list my steps here of how I strengthened myself. If you, like me, are slightly introvert or somewhere on the Highly Sensitive Person spectrum, these steps may help you, or someone you love.
- I arrived in plenty of time, to allow me to sit quietly, privately, beforehand. I ignored how it might look to others, seeing this woman sitting with her eyes closed in the car.
- I set my intention for the morning. What did I want to leave with, being a professional meeting, how many new people did I want to meet, how did I want to be during the event? And I reminded myself that this event was part of my own loving attention and self-care to my business and myself. Bringing loving intentionality into the picture made it easier for me.
- I moved slowly, no rushing. Brought water with me in case my throat got dry. I said hello, offered my name to other women, and we sat down together, had a chat without trying hard to impress or sell – just women connecting.
- I actively listened to what they were saying, asked questions if I needed to, paused before I responded.
The two biggest steps for me?
- Keeping awareness of my breathing, in a state of relaxed alertness.
- The biggest step: I gave myself permission to not be perfect! To mess up, to not hear something properly. To be nervous.
How About You?
Does any of the above resonate with you? Have you had similar nightmare experiences to my past ones? Hopefully this will help you as you go about your life, going to parties, family events, or meeting new people.
To find out how you can join the brand new Your Self-Compassion Way programme starting soon, email email@example.com; you can also use this address to send your feedback and thoughts which I’d love to receive. Visit www.trudyarthurs.com to subscribe for my regular free newsletter – you’ll receive a free Compassionate Confidence e-book when it’s published. Looking forward to connecting with you, really soon.
© Dancing Leopards Ltd 2016
What a brilliant, self-compassionate way to prepare for a networking event. The phrase “girding one’s loins” comes to mind for me here. You were girding your loins so that you could show up as you wanted to. So many places this could apply. Thank you, Trudy.