This week was exactly what I needed. I’m back at home tonight and surrounded by my sweet dogs. I’m happy to be in my robe, to have my own pillow back, and to get puppy love. At the same time I am nostalgic for what I had this week and sad to see how fast the time flew by. More than once during the week I wished I could hit the “Pause” button and take a bit to just soak everything in and savor my feelings.
My trip started last Sunday and ended this afternoon. I went to corporate headquarters for an in-depth training class that had 15 total people attend (including myself). The group was a great mix of people from franchises all over the country. The very first day we got to learn some unique things about each other that made instant connections. Ages in the class ranged from 19 to 60s (if I had to guess on that last one). We had slices of the entire U.S. including Oregon, North Carolina, West Virginia, Texas, Florida, Rhode Island, New York, Tennessee, Missouri, and several others. We even had a French Canadian! There was also a strong showing of females in a traditionally male-dominated industry. In addition to myself there were 3 other women. 🙂
The evening “social” at the hotel, which I mentioned in my last post, was the perfect opportunity to let loose, throw a few friendly jabs around, get to know everyone in a more relaxed environment, and forge life-long connections. I was able to remember what it is like to have fun again. These past two years, or maybe more, I had completely forgotten the simple pleasure of laughing. Not just laughing at a passing joke or something on TV. I mean the deep in your gut, uncontrollable, joyous laughter of something unexpected that catches you in the right moment and makes your sides hurt. I had several of those moments this week.
I found myself climbing out from under the crushing weight of this mess I’ve been living in. I didn’t even realize that I couldn’t breathe until that pressure lifted. It was freeing. I found my honesty was appealing to people, and I was getting it in return. I was able to laugh at myself and let go of my fear of looking stupid. I even won a role-playing award and went on a real-life cold call that turned into a 25 minute rapport building sales presentation. I did that with some training and guidance, great tools, the support of fantastic people, and a lot of looking my fears straight in the eye.
I honestly can’t remember when I have had that much fun. I even got to take home a fake cockroach which one of the trainers left on my table to scare me. It worked somewhat on me, but even better when I used it on another woman in the class. She actually screamed in the middle of a quiet goal-setting session. It was hilarious.
There are so many stories and moments that will stick with me for a long time, if not forever, from this past week. Some of them are small. Some of them are bigger – like that first step I took into a prospect all on my own, scared out of my mind, and the satisfaction I felt when I walked out knowing that they liked me so much they wanted to know if I could fly back from Virginia to set them up.
I was the star pupil. Or at least one of them. I have always been great in school, but this was something different than that. This was about confidence and sales skills and building rapport with people. It was about being liked. This week it finally sunk in that I am a valuable, genuine, bubbly (their word, not mine) person with lots to offer the world. I deserve to be treated that way. I deserve to have someone who gives me as much as I give them.
At some point this week, I changed. I can’t put my finger on the exact moment, but I am a different person now than I was when I left. I know with absolute certainty that I cannot go back to the way things were. I also can’t stop my growth to wait around for someone else. I can’t dull my shine for someone else’s comfort or because they can’t handle the intensity of my glow. Here’s to change!