Not always, but most of the time, you will be right. Following my heart has had a tremendous impact on me + my life this year and I will never forget it.
This one is kind of self explanatory – I am not really a workaholic type character (which I don’t consider a flaw as such, because it keeps my life in balance) but really knuckling down and getting s*** done is an incredible feeling, and totally fundamental.
This isn’t something I’m used to, but it’s part of growing and it’s thrilling.
I’ve put aside a LOT more time for my friends this year, old + new, and it has had such a positive effect on my frame of mind.
But most of all, I’ve learnt how fortunate we are.
Jeez. I can’t even believe how amazing 2013 has been for me + my little family. We now stand at the brink of 2014 full of happiness and excitement.
Thank you to everyone who has supported Veronica Dearly this year – with your kinds wishes, your projects, your orders and your support.
So long 2013, and thanks for everything – Happy new year!
I have been engaged in a battle with shyness since adolescent awkwardness arrived on my doorstep. And I’d like to consider myself a success story.
That’s not to say I never feel anxious about social situations, but I certainly know how to rein it in.
1. DO SOMETHING THAT TERRIFIES YOU
Now this is the scariest way to tackle it, but I also found it has worked best for me. As a 16 year old who was terrified to talk to most people, I got a job as a waitress. I was so far out of my comfort zone it almost caused me physical pain, but gosh did it work. It ended up being the MOST FUN, and to this day, if I had to walk back onto the restaurant floor and start earning tips again I’d enjoy every minute of it.
Then, once I’d settled into that, I did it again. I got a job where I had to stand up in front of big groups of (different) people every week and lead workshops. By myself. If I thought starting out as a waitress was terrifying, I had a SHOCK. But holy cheese this ended up being the best thing I ever did. And I could do it, and so could you. You just need to take that leap of faith and pour your heart and soul into it. The first 10 minutes might be the most galling thing you have to do but the buzz you get & the confidence boost will be more than worth it. I promise.
Do it, and keep doing it. It will be the best thing you can do for yourself.
WORK YOUR TERRITORY
I may sound like a feral cat but I am beyond territorial. Once I’ve settled into a place, whether it be a workplace, a coffee shop I’ve been sitting in every day for a month or an event space that I’m familiar with, I know I will be at the top of my game when I’m there. Use your animalistic territorial nature to your favour – need to meet a terrifying client? Trying to hook up with some business folk for networking? Arranging a meet up for new mums? Bear in mind places where you will feel at your most comfortable.
This is more of a work around than actually facing your shyness, but a great way to ease yourself into a scary situation is to buddy up.
Can you take a guest? Great, pick someone who you feel comfortable with, preferably a social butterfly but even if you’re taking a shy guy (or girl) it eliminates the worry that you’ll end up standing by yourself.
If not – do you have a connection with someone else who’s going to an event? Tweet them and arrange to meet up for a drink first so you can arrive together.
Neither of those applicable? You can still make it work a little bit. Find someone you can relate to who’s also on the guest list and go out of your way to make that connection in the lead up to the event. Drop them an email, introduce yourself, tell them you’re looking forward to meeting them, you will have someone to make a beeline for and hopefully a great relationship will blossom.
BUILD YOUR ALTER EGO
This is an idea I had in my head but I’d never really put it into practice until I’d had a conversation with the vibrant Emily Fisher. We were chatting after a (relatively terrifying) event we’d been to about overcoming anxiety and getting out there, and Emily said the way she deals with it is by creating a character she wants to put out there and just being that person.
Now as Emily’s ‘colleague’ I can grasp that and apply it to myself. We both have brands that are entirely based on us as people – I work out the image I’d like to put out there with my brand and I embrace it. Now that’s not to say that I’m not *really* Veronica Dearly, but working out the kind of person you’d like people to see you as will never do you any harm. Considering the image you want to project can help you create some kind of loose ‘playbook’ for social situations.
BEST OF LUCK! All my love, Veronica
Creative block can be incredibly de-moralising, especially for people that rely solely on their creativity to keep their businesses moving forward, as I do.
I am frequently afflicted, sometimes just for an hour or two on a day when I really don’t have the time, and sometimes for weeks on end when I’m trying hopelessly to develop new ranges and products, with no end in sight it just becomes a heavier load to carry with every day that passes. In fact, this is what I’ve just been dealing with, which may explain my marked lack of blogging or general output, but I’ve survived to talk about it so I can remind myself next time not to despair.
Yes very defeatist I know. Stop trying for a little while – it will pass, but not while you’re staring a blank document/sketchbook page desperately cursing your brain for it’s uselessness.
Do some other stuff. No, not fun stuff, sorry – work stuff. Tidy your desk, tackle the crippling pile of receipts that needs to be organised, tie up the loose ends that keep you awake at night. I cannot focus on new ideas for a second when I have some unpleasant accounting related task niggling me all the time.
Now, by all means, this is your time to do some other other stuff. NOT work stuff. Have fun, relax, explore the woods or lay in bed all day reading magazines (I’d very much like the opportunity to try that one out.) Take yourself out of ‘work mode’ and act accordingly.
Write a list. Of everything you need to do. Break it down, into nice little tiny tasks that aren’t even remotely intimidating. Your illusive creativity is much more likely to creep back into the room if you have a series of small, straightforward-ish tasks on your list instead of ‘design all 2014 collections.’
Choose 3 little, tiny, appealing tasks – at the moment, if you have the luxury, ignore deadline order and just pick out the things that stand out. Choose the tasks that you think you are gonna KILL.
Kill it. Those 3 little tasks were fine right? And now you’ve done all that and made a start with 3 little tasks it’s lifting. Stick at it, and once you build up a momentum your block will be way behind you on the horizon in the rear view mirror.
When I worked away from home and I first started having to eat out in restaurants alone I was mortified – I thought everyone was looking at me thinking I’d been stood up on a date or something. Now I realise that eating out alone can be a real indulgence – some of the most interesting people I spoke to as a waitress were eating alone, and couldn’t have cared less.
Oh my goodness, have you all read How to Win Friends and Influence People? I read it last year and loved it, I bought it for my husband this christmas but he is refusing to acknowledge it’s existence. Carnegie was so right, people LOVE talking about themselves, and now I notice other people doing it I realise how guilty I am of doing this myself. Now I am conscious of it I really try to take back seat in these conversations but sometimes the temptation to interject and say “Oh, yeah I did that too” and launch into a huge long anecdote is overwhelming.
Yup, it’s true. I used to be one of those people – I would always compete with other peoples grumbles until I barely said anything positive. Now I am so much more positive and hypersensitive to negativity. Waitressing is a job where you will come up against this a lot, and there’s a tendency for people to assume if someone rude complains they just want something for free, but you could give away meal after meal before you realise that some people are only happy when they get to be sad.