Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wall Flower

I was hit smack in the head last night with a "God Awful" truth. I'm an introvert. I am not a social butterfly.

Thursday night there was an event social for IzeaFest. I got into Orlando a bit later than planned and chose to go to dinner with Kelly instead and then go watch America's Got Talent or read. I told myself it was because I didn't want to pay for parking, didn't want to get dressed up in a little or even big black dress, and I wasn't a drinker. Then yesterday I found a spot up against the wall, third table back. I told myself I chose this spot because of the power connection was right there. Last night I chose not to go to the bar event. I told myself I was really tired and wanted to go to dinner.

Truth was in all those events I didn't know anyone and didn't want to stand out as the loser. Yeah, I know I'm not a loser. Give me a bunch of my friends or teachers, and I can be a great social butterfly or social planner. Put me with a bunch of corporate people, or people I don't see an immediate connection to (because there are a lot of people here that are not a lot of corporate people here), and I freeze. I freeze at talking to higher ups in education - superintendent level- even my own old super. I freeze at talking to people who are financially savvy like these people who know how to work from home and make money blogging. I freeze at talking to those who know how to relax, have a drink, and have fun. I have slight panic attacks at the thought. Heck, I froze the first time I spoke to Hall Davidson!

But then I chastise myself each time I don't follow through with the social plans, don't take advantage to network, and sit back to be the wallflower.

Me, the one who was a manager for what I believe was a successful state (North Florida actually) DEN. Me, who will talk to total strangers and invite them to an event - but then don't know how to relax and enjoy Howl At the Moon the way it was meant.

So do I want to re-invent myself? Do I want to change? Yes. How do I expect to meet Mr. Right or a new great friend if I don't learn to really socialize outside of my comfort zone.

How many of you are really good at stepping out of your comfort zone? Think about it. Are you good at stepping out of the comfort zone? Do you get nervous? Freeze like I do?

Let's bring this back to education. How many of you ask your students to step out of their comfort zone? Do you forget to be compassionate in your grading when they do, but are not as successful as others that are in their comfort zone?

Is your professional development plan asking you to step out of your comfort zone? How do they help you step out and be successful?

I signed up for tonight's scavenger hunt. Let's see if I can do this.

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