I’ve had a lot of titles in my life, ranging from personal trainer to corporate lawyer to author and coach, but the one that’s the most important is the oldest and least official: late bloomer.
Oh yeah, I was a major late bloomer, I had my first anything with the opposite sex at age 19, and have distinct memories of being terrified trying to order at a Taco Bell.
Raising my hand to volunteer in class? Not happening, even if my grade relied heavily upon participation.
People and social situations used to be paralyzing for me, as I would run through the gamut of assumptions people would make about me, from “He’s so weird,” to “Boy, he is saying stupid things. He is stupid.”
You don’t quite realize that you’re living a life defined by avoidance and fear until you’re deep in it. It came to a head for me on another Friday night at home alone during college.
I realized that it had been weeks since I had done anything social, and I could see the path my life was headed down if I didn’t make changes fast.
What happened over the next few months was an all-out assault on my comfort zone. I was supremely uncomfortable just about every day, but simply getting that practice was what allowed me to keep improving my social confidence and conversation skills.
I gained the first-hand experience to know that the worst-case scenarios floating around in my mind were never going to happen.
I'm relating my story to emphasize that conversation and social skills are teachable, and your social life is truly in your hands.
It won’t happen without some discomfort and challenge, but as they say, if it were that easy, everyone would be doing it!