It was day 1, March 20 of 2019.
I thr0w on an ironed white collar shirt and tuck it into my pants. 15 minutes later, I arrive at the hotel where the training is happening. As I walk into the building, I swallow my own saliva, feeling nervous.
I Was Anxious.
Anxious to meet new people. Anxious to open my mind to something new. I felt as if I was making a big mistake. Maybe this wasn’t supposed to be happening.
But it did.
So I met my instructor, Stephanie. And she made us stand up in front of all 13 of our new faces and give a 2-minute talk on who we are and why we are there.
Great. I didn’t prepare for that. And I ended up going last. And everyone remembered how much my voice cracked. I wanted to leave as soon as I sat back down.
I did this for 8 weeks on my days off from selling cars at a local dealership. I needed to improve my communication skills. I needed to build the confidence to work with people that were twice my age and made triple my income. I had trouble asking people about their needs and helping them find solutions to meet them. I lacked in my ability to lengthen my friendships. I wanted to learn how to make people feel understood. Whether it was selling or making new friends, I wanted to grow and become better.
Yes, it’s about basic people skills.
Yes, you learn about the psychology of people. You understand how people make decisions, how to make friends, and how to speak in public. You also learn how to remember people’s names.
But that’s only 20% of the course…
The other 80% is what transformed how I live my life today.
So let’s dive right in, shall we?
I showed up early to each session willing to undertake any moment of discomfort that came my way. Being uncomfortable came easy to me, so I had to believe in my instructor’s words. She took the time to recognize my goals and desires. She encouraged me because she knew my story. She always knew how to inspire me.
We’re not through yet…
I practiced everything we were taught. And as much as I did everything right, I never drove home any results. I still struggled to talk to people. I remained anxious about calling clients at work. I dreaded talking to my boss and even meeting new people at my church.
At this point, I was questioning the course. But I had it all wrong.
Because the one thing I should have been considering wasn’t the course…
It was a question Stephanie asked me one evening after the session was over.
“How much better do you think your relations with people will be if you approached everyone you know with less stress and worry in your life?”
That’s what I was talking about at the beginning of this article. The rest of the course was about how to stop worrying and start living.
I found out the hard way that making new friends doesn’t matter. Meeting new people doesn’t matter. Speaking in public doesn’t matter either…
Not if they are coming from a source of heavy and uneasy lives.
We are better off when we have inner peace, happiness, and less stress. When we know how to deal with the things that hold us back, we can move forward with less friction.
That explained why I wasn’t achieving the same results as everyone else. It explains why everything in my life has moved based on how much I take care of myself. So it all made sense now.
I worried too much.
I created my own problems.
I over-thought every human interaction I stumbled into.
I didn’t make sales at work.
I didn’t get along with the few friends I did have very much.
And I finally knew why…
How We Do One Thing in Life Is How We Do All Things.
If we want to live richer and meaningful lives, let’s remember this:
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” – unknown