Another week has come and gone, but magically we did get some much needed rain here in the Niagara region, as we were in desperate need..so YAAAAAAAA!
This week, I am gonna get back to my roots of this blog and dive a little deeper into who I am and where I have come from. Yes I am a Niagara region replant we have already discussed that, but for those that have never met me, I feel that I need to make a confession. Over the years, as far back as I can remember I have dealt with what I now can call a form of social anxiety; a feeling of panic and heightened anxiety when put in situations of stress or experiences or events outside of my ‘comfort zone’. This anxiety became so severe, that in my younger teen years I battled with severe shyness and mild to moderate depression.
Don’t worry the irony has not been lost on me as my professional career now is in Public Relations, an occupation directly out front and center in the world and sometimes directly in the spotlight, I know, I know, I get it, don’t worry. 🙂 You see, at a young age, after a traumatic experience as as teenager I decided that enough was enough and I was not going to live my life like that anymore and I consciously made a choice to change, and I have.
Let me explain…
As I had mentioned, as a young kid I was very shy, this shyness grew as I headed into my teenage years. This introversion as you can guess made me a prime target for bullies and for retreating into the safety of my dark bedroom listening to music by myself and stewing in my own self hatred and loathing. This self hatred and loathing hit a pinnacle when I was 15 years old. As you can probably guess, my depression became so severe that I seriously started to think about ending it all, if I was not around anymore, no one would miss me and I wouldn’t hurt anymore is what I thought. I know now that was not true but when you are in the spiral of depression, being bullied and feeling like you are worthless, it seems like this is your only way out. Standing in the kitchen with a handful of pills in my hand, ready to end it, only one thought kept coming up in my head, “how can I allow my Mom, the woman who was always been there for me, loving and supporting me find me like this?” THAT was the only thing that stopped me from ending it all that day. But, one significant thing did shift in me from that experience, I knew that I didn’t want to live like that anymore, I needed to make a change, and change I did.
I started forcing myself out of my shell, joining clubs, the school band, student counsel, sports, you name it I joined it and slowly the blossoming occurred. Ironically, getting a job at a local diner as a server was the biggest change maker for me, I had to deal with people of all walks of life no matter what. I learned to define and create my own voice and it was empowering.
However, there is still one such gremlin from this dark time that still rears its ugly head even to this day; a out and out fear of public speaking. I know this fear is quite common for many, but this gremlin is one last hurdle I aim to jump over and get past forever. I can manage small gatherings and making presentations, I know my triggers and I have developed coping mechanisms to get me through, but large gatherings still trigger those sweaty palms, dry throat, anxiety riddled emotions that I know all too debilitatingly well.
So why do I bring this up you ask?
Well, I guess this is my official coming out announcement to all of you, I have been given the honour to be asked to be the official Master of Ceremonies for the upcoming SaMM2016 – The Sales and Marketing Marriage Conference being presented here in Niagara on September 28 by Prowl Communications. This is my ‘coming out of my comfort zone’ party so to speak. One of my last hurdles of yesteryear that I no longer want to inhibit me from achieving all that I know I am capable of. I go on and on about getting outside of your comfort zone and really learning to live all the time on my own biz social media platforms, now it is my turn to finally put my money where my mouth is so to speak. I will not lie I thought long and hard about this as my old insecurities came to the surface when Debi Katsmar of Prowl Communications asked me. I asked my colleagues and friends if I should do it, and ultimately they all said the same thing, listen to your gut as it never lies to you. My gut, the little voice inside of all of us calmly and softly spoke amongst all the noise of self doubt brewing in my head and whispered, “It’s time to blossom again”
So here I go, not only putting my left foot out of my comfort zone, but I am going to jump head first out of my cocoon and experience what it means to truly ‘live’ outside of the safety of what I know and into the excitement of what will be. Am I scared? YUP! But you know what, I’m gonna do it anyways 🙂
Thank you once again for coming along on this blogging journey with me. Your support and feedback does not go unnoticed. If any of you are interested in attending the SaMM Conference, then I encourage you to click the hyperlink for SaMM here to get more information.
Also, I would love to know, what have you done lately to get outside of YOUR own comfort zones? I would love to hear!
Until we meet again,
Love & Light I send to you always,