In A Shot Of Optimism, Make Even Smarter Choices, Uncategorized, What's Holding You Back?

Have you ever found yourself in situation where you say I’ll just skip it, no one will miss me? OrI know I signed up for this but, I’m not sure I want to do it…

Of course it’s OK to change our minds and re-evaluate decisions we’ve made.  Circumstances change, what looked like an opportunity at first can turn into an obligation.

But before you decide to withdraw ask yourself why.

My eight-year old granddaughter is in her school choir.   She has loved going and singing with a group, so it came as a surprise to her parents when she announced she just didn’t want to sing.  Curious, her father asked why,

Do you like singing in the choir?

Yes Papa, I do, but I’m afraid I might forget something.

Well, do you think you would be OK just standing up with the group and not singing, just moving your mouth? 

As I listened, I was reminded of my own piano recitals when last minute fear overtook me.

And then I remembered the old song from the King and I, that 50’s Broadway musical my aunt (who was a piano teacher) used to sing to me:

Whenever I feel afraid, I hold my head erect and whistle a happy tune
And no one will suspect I’m afraid
Make believe you’re brave, and the trick will take you far.
You may be as brave as you make believe you are.
Listen here.

You probably don’t have any choir concerts or piano recitals to deal with, but during the holidays there are all those holiday parties where you may not know anyone.  Now that’s the perfect time to hum this little song.

Last weekend I had just such a party.  The weather was cold.  The party was 15 miles away, which in Nashville is far.   I had only just met the hostess (a new client) a few months before.  The one person I knew in common was not going.  I hated the thought of wandering around a buffet table not knowing anyone.  Maybe I could just stay home.

Then I thought about all the reasons to go.

Leaving my car with the valet, I walked into a spectacularly decorated house, where a sea of unknown faces waited.   As I shed my coat, I introduced myself to the man in the coat room and moved on.  Not seeing anyone familiar including our hostess who had not yet come down, I moved toward the shrimp.   There was a very tall (and handsome) man,  as he turned to make room for me, I looked up, smiled and asked “What do you do when you are not here at the party”?

He gave me a big smile, and we started chatting, I asked about his family, why he lived where he lived, met his wife, heard about his children and before we finished our conversation, our hostess arrived and so did someone else I knew.  Mark (the tall guy) introduced me to several other people and I was off and running.

As I was moving toward the door, I ran into the guy I’d met in the coatroom at the beginning of the night, we chatted, moved to business and then I met his business partner who said he’d “like to talk some more”.

So I challenge you to sing your own little tune that makes you confident.  Even if you are not feeling it.  No one needs to know but you.  And the more you act the part, the more that is who you will truly be.

In the comment section below, let us know when you’ve “faked it till you made it”, so we can all learn from you.  Are you shivering in your boots about something?  Let us help you work it out!!

Until next week – YIPPEE!




Showing 3 comments
  • Bob Mathews

    As always, simple effective approaches to an issue, thank you Elizabeth. I was wondering whether I had time to read your blog this week, and as always, I am glad I did.

    • elizabeth

      Thanks Bob for reading and for taking time to write!


  • Margaret Ellis

    Hi, Elizabeth, just wanted to do a quick, post-retirement follow up. I have thought of you often and hope that we can get together when Fred and I return from 3 1/2 months in Mexico. We really appreciate your encouragement to sell our business, which we did, and “follow our yippee.” We leave tomorrow for another adventure.

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