Although I struggle with social anxiety, I find that I’m not fulfilled when I spend too much time alone. When I walk into a room full of people I have two anxieties that greatly affect how I feel about the situation.
#1 No one knows or recognizes me. How embarrassing, just wandering around all alone while people look at you and wonder who you are and what you are doing there?!
#2 Someone knows or recognizes me. If someone does recognize me, what if they don’t like or accept me?! What if they judge me?
Through my observations and experiences, it seems that us ladies have two big needs that tend to conflict with each other.
I believe the needs are to be accepted, and to be known. Unfortunately, in order to be known, we must risk not being accepted.
Our daughters recently attended a local college basketball camp. My youngest daughter had finished her last day of the camp, but came back with me to pick up my oldest daughter. The coach was in the hallway when we got there. He noticed her, called her by name, and spoke to her. The look on her face was priceless to me. He knew her. He noticed her. She was proud, and felt like a part of something. They learned skills in the camp, but they also expanded their comfort zones and circle of friends. It was a great opportunity for them.
Do you feel like an outsider? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone to volunteer or participate in something that interests you? Perhaps you don’t know where to start?
I want to encourage you to follow your heart. It might be easier than you think, and I’m pretty sure it will be way more rewarding and fulfilling than you’re expecting!