What's up Wednesday: Armoured

in The LIFESTYLE LOUNGE2 years ago (edited)

“Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.” - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

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I've learned I'm very good at various things and not so good at others, like most; it's the nature of being human. One thing I do well though is difficult things that make me feel uncomfortable.

Socially awkward uncomfortable

I'm not anti-social but being in crowds or with people I don't know well can be difficult. I don't like being the centre of attention and have no need or desire to self-promote or seek validation from others. I'm happier in smaller, more manageable, social groups and I tend to get fully-immersed in those cases; but when there's many people I just want to fly under the radar.

Over my life I've held positions in which I've had to stand tall, to speak in front of many people and lead and direct others, which has always made me feel quite uncomfortable - I'm shy by nature and coupled with my aversion to drawing attention to myself it's made aspects of my life quite a challenge, but I've overcome it.

I can't recall when I determined how to combat this fear intolerance but I did. I found the ability to push emotional and physical discomfort deep within and simply get the job done; I attribute that ability for much of the success I've achieved personally and professionally.

The motivator

I use a motivator I guess one could say, something that switches me on and enables uncomfortable actions to happen; I think of it as a suit of armour that renders me impervious to the feelings and emotions that well up in leaving the potential to derail my progress. It makes me feel protected against externally-derived sources of discomfort. It's hard to explain I suppose, but it works and has been of great value in many roles and situations I've found myself in.

A good example is a simple business suit. Yep, that's one of my motivators; a work related one.

I've been successful in my field over the years, success that came through getting well out of my comfort zone. It's been my business suits that have allowed me to do so, to protect myself whilst I confronted those challenges.

I don't wear them to look the part per se but to feel the part allowing me to perform better at whatever task that's required no matter how uncomfortable I feel. Maybe it's that when I don the suit it becomes a mask behind which I can hide the real me whilst a different version does what's required. Either way, it's worked.

When that suit goes on I'm everything I need to be, outwardly at least, and the job gets done with what probably looks like confidence and comfort even though I'm probably not feeling it. It's like I'm armoured by that suit and impervious to the feelings that scream, this feels wrong, within me.

Well armoured

I've relied on motivators to provide the ability, impetus and courage [stupidity?] to do many things that might otherwise have been unachievable. In the case of my current job it's the business suit, the armour so to speak. It could just as easily be a lucky charm, a uniform, or even a simple mindset that I've used to find the momentum to carry myself forward and deploy as required.

That mindset-motivator is my WHY; that is, why I want or need to do a thing in the first place. If it's compelling enough then it happens to the best of my ability, no matter what might be involved in making it happen. In these ways I've managed to make my way through life a little more easily...Although I still avoid most social situations. I'm still shy.

I did one of those hard to do things yesterday which prompted this post. It made me wonder what other people do to motivate themselves and to find the courage to overcome fear or doubt or their personality traits that may get in the way of daily life. Feel free to comment below. I'm interested to hear what you have to say.

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind

Discord: galenkp#9209

Image is mine - A suit of armour taken at the Tower of London, UK


Hey Galen. Great post as per usual. I think many people use this but don't even realize it. Your business suit is the equivalent of my old uniform and well, at that stage I decided to rather look intimidating and carry myself as such and it worked mostly - people wouldn't mess with me as a result. In retrospect and after a LOT of years of inner work, I realized a few years ago that it was a self defense mechanism from being bullied as a kid.

I had way too many earrings when I worked in nature conservation, wore a scowl most of the time which warded off most people. Only a few of them actually got to really know me and realized that I'm quite a softy on the inside.

It enabled me to deal with some of the most awful residents around the reserve that didn't want to listen to a mid twenty year old at the time and a female at that. It is still a mostly male dominated field but I pulled my weight (and threw my back out in doing so a few times) but I worked my ass off to get the job done.

I used this later on with difficult people - but it was wearing a big pair of boots (New Rocks) that made me about 5cm taller - I'm only 1.54cm tall so an extra 5cm makes a difference and I always felt that if anyone was going to start a fight, well they'd have to deal with a really good pair of steel capped boots up their ass. Luckily it didn't come to that, but it helped with the mindset.

I'm totally socially awkward and always have been, I'm okay with it now and I'm owning it. It's better to lay low and feel out the situation while keeping a low profile and I absolutely hate being in the limelight, it makes me extremely anxious and panicky. I had this situation this past week for my daughter's birthday I noticed that I was feeling like I was in everyone's way - IN MY OWN HOUSE and I had to make myself small and make myself useful. Childhood bullshit rearing it's head. I didn't put on my big boots or anything, I just went and made sure that everyone was fed and happy and I knew that it would pass. The one person present had taken the opportunity while I was in an extremely vulnerable situation to tear me down to shreds, verbally attack me and make me feel like a worthless piece of shit, so I tend to become extremely anxious whenever I am anywhere in her vicinity. She is just another bully, she's not the first in my life so it brings up all sorts of fight or flight action. Perhaps next time (if there's a next time) I see her, I should make sure I'm wearing my badass boots and a scowl and walk with an air of intimidation, might make me feel a little taller and kick the feeling that I have to make myself small.

Thanks for prompting the introspection. Your insights are always great :)

A scowl

I sometimes deploy one of these and it has the desired effect.

It's amazing how a person can make you feel like this in your own home; It's at times like this we need to find that armour though, the physical motivator or the emotional. It's difficult of course, and easy to say after the fact or when one isn't in the situation. You did well though it seems and you'll be more prepared next time. We'll always come across bullies: you know, those with lack of self-esteem who seek to find relevance and validation by tearing others down. Assholes.

I'm only 1.54cm tall

In Australia you'd qualify for the midget tax-exemption.

[Just kidding, there isn't one.] 😆

Hahaha I meant 1.54m not 1.54cm that was a "I need more coffee moment" - but yes, I sometimes feel like a midget anyway :)

Lol...I knew what you meant...Still a midget. 😁

I’m sorta shy just like you perhaps, once I throw on the company shirt its go time so to speak, my armour as you say.

Yep, you know what I mean then. It's no different in sport or military I guess right?

Pull on the accoutrements of war and one feels more able to take the field no matter the discomfort. We all do what we must and sometimes need a small motivator to bring rise to the courage required, the feeling of protection is required. It's the same in business, families and many other areas too; sometimes a physical thing, sometimes a thought or feeling.

Thanks for commenting.

You remind me so much of my husband! Ha! As far as the social situations go at least. I, on the other hand, was brought up by a painfully shy mom and she vowed to never have shy kids. I was sent to drama, music, sports - all the busy outgoing social things she could find and generally things that put me on a platform from a young age.

I’m not shy, but I’m self aware most of the time and probably a bit insecure with others. Some people bring the best out of me, while others make me retreat and crave my me-time.

But the “why” has always been my motivating factor. A strong sense of purpose is so important and that’s been ingrained in me from a young age.

What can you do with what’s in your hand? How can you take that and make it better?
You can do whatever you put you mind to!

All things I’ve grown up hearing again and again from my folks and other mentors.

We're all different people, thankfully, and have different tolerances to things.

It's really difficult for me to convey who I am in words on hive, or anywhere else for that matter; I am many things, there's many versions of me, depending on who is looking, where I am, the situation at hand...So many different factors give rise to many different incarnations of me. It is thus with all of us I believe, to a greater or lesser extent.

Like you, I have a WHY and it is also different depending on many factors or circumstances which is how it should be. It seems you were brought up well, have been afforded the opportunity to find your best and, no doubt, you've been a version of your worst at some point, like all of us. It's what makes us human, our fallibility and ability to adapt and change.

The good thing is we have the power, most of us, to command ourselves, thoughts, attitudes and actions. It seems to me that you do so, and often find your best, or better, self.

A long way of paying you a compliment based on the little I know of you.

Thank you! I appreciate it more than you know. Words of affirmation is definitely one of the love languages that I thrive on although I don’t tend to reciprocate much 🤪.

I call it how I see it.

Wearing a suit does feel good and gives one a sense of confidence in my opinion. I don’t wear them often but when I do it feels like it’s ready for the battle of Gettysburg lol. I haven’t worn them in a few years now and I do miss wearing them but it’s not something I need to wear on a daily. I wouldn’t mind wearing them in the future though, it wouldn’t be a bad thing to do. I don’t know the job I would need to wear it though.

I don’t know the job I would need to wear it though.


Enough said.

Hahah my cover has been blown!

Busted bro.

I’m reasonable at emergencies because I seem to just switch off and do stuff.

Everything just gets done because it needs to be done.

Things like acting and drama are easy because I’m not me then, however in the times I’ve been forced to do public speaking I can’t seem to pull off a character so now I’m like no and and avoid it like the plague 😵

Public speaking is a pretty difficult thing for most. I've done a lot of it over the years and whilst I tend to be reasonable at it I get the same feelings of nerves no matter how many times I've done it. It's a typical reaction I guess, but when I put that suit on it's all good, or better than bad, at least. 🤪

I remember there was an event in the last days of my school. You have to get up on the stage, give your introduction, and talk a little about your school life. Just to share your memories.

We were yelling and hooting when our friends were on stage but when it was my time, I started introducing myself, and then I saw hundreds of students staring at me. And I choked for a few seconds.

It was the first time I realized how hard it is to speak in front of an audience.

Happened something similar in my college when I was giving a presentation about my summer internship. Lol, bad memories.

Last year, I took a personality development course(because I am an introvert and too much shy). And realized that if you keep going for a few minutes, it becomes easy.

Practiced speaking in front of 20-30 people for more than a month.

Hopefully I won't choke next time when I have to speak up or give a presentation.

Will try wearing a suit too while going to party or a movie

It's good that you took a course and I think moving forward it will pay dividends. The most I've spoken in front of is just over a thousand people at an industry conference and whilst I was pretty nervous at first I got it done. I was just myself, didn't do anything I would normally not do, like tell jokes. I reminded myself that I was the expert and they were there to listen to me. It was more the questions I had to field that worried me...What if I didn't have the answers! Lol

I usually wear this suit to work. Here's some rare footage of me walking into the office kitchen to make a coffee.

Work From Home suits you as well...

Lol. Oh yeah, I'm an expert at ironing.

I understand you very well
I smile when I walk through the door of my house.
I have a business and the smile has to be on my face during working hours, nobody has to know if you are sad or if you have argued with your husband, they are the first.
Sometimes I feel like my smile fades when I get home.
But normally the smile accompanies me, I am smiling by nature.
I love talking to people, but nothing technical, just talking and clowning around a bit.
Public speaking is another thing, just thinking about it my body starts to sweat.
Writing also causes me concern, but little by little I am getting over it here, since nobody sees me or knows me haha
We are all very rare, but there is this our greatness, all different and all with small flaws, which make us unique.
Happy Wednesday

Te entiendo muy bien
Yo me pongo la sonrisa, cuando cruzo la puerta de mi casa.
Tengo un negocio y la sonrisa tiene que estar en mi cara las horas de trabajo, nadie tiene que saber si estas triste o si has discutido con tu marido, ellas son las primeras.
Algunas veces siento que mi sonrisa se borra cuando llego a casa.
Pero normal mente la sonrisa me acompaña, soy risueña por naturaleza.
Me encanta hablar con las personas, pero nada técnico, solo hablar y hacer un poco el payaso.
Otra cosa es hablar en público, solo con pensarlo mi cuerpo empieza a sudar.
También escribir me causa preocupación, pero poco a poco aquí lo voy superando, ya que nadie me ve ni me conoce jaja
Todos somos muy raros, pero hay esta nuestra grandeza, todos diferentes y todos con pequeñas taras, que nos hacen únicos.
Feliz miércoles

We are all very rare, but there is this our greatness, all different and all with small flaws, which make us unique.

This is true. I say something much the same: It's our imperfections that make each of us perfectly unique.

the mask of laughter, laughing at one is the best

The ability to laugh at oneself is a strength.

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Wow! reading that sounded like you wrote my story, only thing I don't wear a suit or a particular clothing or charm.
After being forced by circumstances to speak to an audience of 1500+ college students for the first time 12 years ago, I don't need any amour, I just need to control the butterflies in my stomach and tell myself that the group in front of me is more afraid of me than i of them. When I shoot out a few questions at them, they hide behind each other.
So now I just go there and do my job.
I am still shy and try to hide in the wood works at social gatherings. I am okay with small groups.

I just need to control the butterflies in my stomach and tell myself that the group in front of me is more afraid of me than i of them.

This, then is your motivator to enable you to stand in front of those people and do what's required. We all use different techniques. It seems like you have it all sorted.

Excellent reflection with which I share many points, in my case I never liked to be the center of attention however life led me to study a career and exercise a work that put me in front of many responsibilities and be the center of attention on many occasions, more than I would have liked, That brought with it an additional stress load in my life until one day I decided it was time to stop everything and return to the simple and easy life, to understand that my peace and tranquility are much more important than a job that did not allow me days off or family, you know I spent 5 years of my life without vacations, holidays or weekends because according to my bosses my important position did not allow me, until that day when I said enough was enough. Today I am someone who simply fights every day to be happy and recover a little of what today I understand I missed being in that place, yes I am grateful for having been there and the experience but certainly life is much more and living it to the fullest is necessary, we only have one.

Many people put their own lives on hold in deference to their jobs and whilst it can seem prudent I believe one needs to put more effort into ones own life, finding enjoyment and creating the best version of it as possible. We are all only on the planet for a relatively short time and we have a choice to live it the best we can or not.

I'm pleased to hear you're beginning to finding more time for yourself these days.