What does comfortable in your own skin look like?
I became comfortable in my own skin a few years ago. I stopped trying to be what other people wanted; the outgoing, fun, ambitious Mellissah. Instead, I started being me; a shy introvert who loves business and spends time with people who really matter.
On my own terms
It wasn't until I became comfortable in my own skin that I really started living life, on my own terms. I know that people prefer the outgoing persona that I use to present, but that is damn hard work. Do you really know how hard it is to be "likeable" and someone who everyone wants to invite to a party? I never had to have "missing out syndrome" because everyone wanted to invite me to everything. Why not? I came with interesting stories, always smiled and talked to everyone. But let me tell you something about that... I was performing. I wasn't the real me.
The real me prefers to talk to just one person at a party, and get to know them intimately so that next time, I feel confidence to walk straight up and say hello. The real me is also a home body, that likes to travel to places that put me out of my comfort zone, but once there, I still don't talk to strangers and prefer my own company and a good book, to drinking at a bar in hope of meeting someone.
Being comfortable in my own skin was an eye opener. It meant to many that I wasn't so interesting, but to those who count, that they really got to know me. There stopped being this contradiction when people met my "real" friends who always say that I am quiet and shy, that "new friends" would say "no she isn't that at all".
It also ensured that people realised just how deep I am. I write every single day about my life and thoughts. I document every movement. When I read back on my diary, I am always so taken back by the person who has put pen to paper. I am more vulnerable in my writing and exposed.
See the biggest change
But in business I see the biggest change. I no longer need to prove anything to anybody. I don't necessarily feel "successful" but accomplished and secure. When friends talk me up when introducing me to people, or my work colleagues for that matter, I always down play it. My first response has always been and always will be that "I don't know how successful I am, but I do run an international marketing firm". That statement alone, says it all, but yet says nothing.
I know the PR game
My ambition is not to be the biggest or most recognised. I could if I wanted to be published as many times as I would like, after all I know the PR game well and know how easy it is to achieve. Yet, I choose not to. Anywhere I can be published, my clients could be there in my place, so why would I think that I am more important than the companies I serve? I am not and should never sacrifice a client for my own self-promotion.
I am not ego driven. I just focus on a simple business plan that needs to be implemented. If and when I finish that business plan, I will look back and feel like I have accomplished something. One big tick on my checklist of what I would like to achieve out of life.
Never enter them
I don't need awards and not only never enter them, but never accept a nomination. Too many times I see people win that have a good sales spiel and behind the scenes are struggling to exist or are having significant challenges. Many go broke, and that kiss of death is something I never want to wish upon myself or my team.
I don't need to be liked but I always need to do the right thing. I need to always be considerate of others and mindful that my life is blessed while some others may not be.
As I watch the world around me where people self promote, look for recognition, and seek approval, I realise that this is not me at all. It's a sign that I am really comfortable in my own skin navigating through life focusing on what's important and caring about those around me.
It's a simple way to look at life, but quite settling. I wouldn't have it any other way.