I just posted a quote on my Facebook page that reads
“Life is like a ten-speed bike—
Most of us have gears we never use.”
Who can deny that pithy observation? My first response is “Why do we settle for limiting ourselves to two or three gears? The main reason is that our “comfort gears” are reliable—and where we feel safe. They have supported our ventures for many years. “Comfort” and “Safety” are important needs but are you really content to stay tied to the dock? Don’t you long for more?
Confidence is the feeling that you can meet and address any needs that may arise. Build your confidence gears and life becomes easier—and more fun!
It’s hard to argue with the idea that there might be much to gain from learning to use our other gears—let’s call them “skills”— but it does require a need to stretch and grow and a desire to change things up. To be willing to take on change, positive change, that can change the way you do things, or the way your present yourself. No settling for less, but demanding more. More of who you really want to be. Right now, at this moment in time, you may not have the answer to who you really want to be, what skills you want to work on. That’s okay. If your eyes and ears and heart are open, the world is at your feet.
Gears on a bike allow you to cover more ground with less effort, whether up hill or down, fast or slow. The higher skills that you want to build to enhance your style of communication will also allow you engage people on many levels.
Perhaps most of your life people have thought of you as shy or not one to take part in conversations and you want to change that perception. A good place to start is your body. You receive impulses from the world around you but it’s up to you to recognize them, accept their truth and to respond from that place. The human body (and face) is the single most effective communication tool on the planet. It is one of our most precious gifts as humans—and it has almost unlimited “gears” with which to engage and connect with the people around you.
How are you in your body, where it all begins? What are you projecting with the way you sit, the way you walk, the way you speak?
What energizes you? What makes you feel energetic? Bring it into your body and (while you’re at it, allow these “energy experiences” to show on your face and in your voice. It may not feel as “safe” as you’re used to feeling, but if you practice this way of being in your body, consciously bringing your inner needs and desires present, you will begin to feel very different, I promise. I call this skill, “bringing your body to life” or “recognizing and expressing the life-force within you.”
Energize your body and then use that energy to meet whatever situation you’re in!
Remember, change requires commitment but it will reap rewards. People will begin to see you in a whole new light. When you are feeling confident in this new energetic way of being, try taking part in a conversation. Start small; you don’t have to come forth with a long-winded opinion, but rather a small point that you would like to add to the conversation. Before you meet with people determine that you will listen to them carefully and receive whatever it is they are saying. Then, check in with your body and listen for the visceral response to what they’re saying and then see if there is something you want to contribute. Determine that you want to take part and in what way you will do that.
DON’T LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK!
It’s all right to be nervous and embarrassed or feeling on the spot. The best part is, this hardest part of making a change to your life, “to begin,” is over quickly. Once you have begun the road will rise to meet you as you create the life you want for yourself and become who you are destined to be.
Here’s to all of us and the changes we make.