Do you have that friend or acquaintance who just oozes confidence. Nothing fazes her (of course it could be him but for convenience I am going to stick with her). She has a presence. She is able to articulate herself and nothing seems to throw her off her stride.
I know someone who just epitomizes the word confidence and I met her for coffee recently. After catching up on what had been happening in our own lives and our families lives we turned our attention to our working life.
She told me that my recent post “A Change of Title”, which discussed the feeling of being invisible, really resonated with her. Since she has become a retiree she has totally lost her way. She had started to withdraw from social activities as it was less stressful.
I realised, that yes, I hadn’t seen her as much in the last year to eighteen months but had never realised that this was due to a lack of confidence. I was flabbergasted. Here was a woman who a few years ago would have chaired meetings, talked in front of a hundred delegates and never once believed she couldn’t achieve things.
Since becoming a retiree she had begun to realise that without her job she felt useless and that gradually her confidence had been eroded. She had no sense of identity. She had gradually withdrawn from social events. She had become an avid reader and was a weekly visitor of her local library.
It is so easy to lose one’s identity whether it is on retiring, becoming a mother or father, loosing a job, or a myriad of other reasons. The effect is still the same. One’s self-confidence begins to disappear.
As our conversation developed we each admitted to being very apprehensive about forthcoming events which each of us had to attend. Suddenly I had a buddy who wanted to help me and at the same time I wanted to ease the social evening for her.
Angela never moves without her tablet so, as I had to attend a large meeting she checked Luas time-table to see how long it would take me. Then Angela suggested googling the hotel where the event was being held. A large percentage of hotels now have virtual tours so one can get an idea of the various function rooms. Now that is a tip I will keep in mind for future reference. We also discussed where I would sit. An aisle seat would suit as I was giving myself permission to leave at any time while at the same time I wouldn’t be disturbing anyone.
Next we looked at Anne’s social night, where she would know the hosts but no one else. Again we checked out the venue then we looked at conversation topics which Anne could read up on in advance. Then we looked at outfits. By the time we had finished, both of us while not being excited about the forth coming events, found we were no longer totally apprehensive about them.
Definitely, a little bit of forward planning was going to make the experience far less daunting and it is something I would totally recommend to anyone who is apprehensive about a forth coming event. It will ease the situation and more importantly ease the stress levels.