I had the honour of speaking in Ottawa last week at a Professional Development Week.
And when my schedule allows, I love being able to stay and actually take part in the event, versus simply flying in and flying out. It gives me a chance to get to know the members and staff of the organization or association, meet the delegates and ask about their challenges and what they’re looking to learn, and connect with fellow speakers.
As it happened, I was sitting on a leadership panel on Wednesday, was giving a presentation on Friday, and was able to take part and digest much of the week’s program and activities before and after.
But when I was invited to stay to attend the President’s Ball on the last evening… I found myself in a bit of a predicament.
I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. (I actually really liked the organisers and staff and everyone I was meeting… and want to be asked to come back next year!)
I actually had an event in Toronto I was supposed to get home for.
I wasn’t sure how professional it would appear for a speaker to be busting a move on the dance floor (I do have some pretty good moves!)
Well, I contemplated both sides.
I ran it by a friend.
I got clear on what I really wanted to do.
And finally someone said: ‘Why don’t you just stay and let your hair down?!?’
And in the end, I did. And I had a great time.
But it got me thinking.
Now I can be very spontaneous, but it’s not always without analysis, over-analysis, or serious judgment.
Is that the ‘right’ thing to do?
Is that what I ‘should’ do?
What would others think or say if I were to do that?
How many of your actions are motivated by what you think is the right thing to do, or what you feel you should be doing, or out of comparison and/or fear of what others may think or say?
Sometimes we gotta stop caring, over-analysing, or doing the ‘right’ thing.
Maybe it was time to let my hair down.
Maybe it’s time to let your hair down, too.
(and for those who don’t have hair, maybe it’s time to loosen your tie a little, or take it off altogether…!!!)
Now what does that mean?
Perhaps it means saying yes to something you would normally say no to. Perhaps it means saying no to something you would normally say yes to. Perhaps it means you try something you’ve never done before.
Perhaps it means you…
Share your big dream aloud. Say hello to that cute boy or girl in line or sitting next to you at Starbucks. Stop playing the game. Stop doing what you think you should be doing. Stop comparing where you think you should be to where you are. Get rid of the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary once and for all. Sleep in past your alarm. Don’t even set your alarm. Play hooky for an afternoon or even a whole day. Sign up for an open mic night. Sign up for a 5km race. Take a tap class or a salsa class or a Bollywood dance class. Dance in your kitchen. Dance in your birthday suit. Dance like nobody’s watching. Sing in the shower, in your car, or out loud somewhere, anywhere. Commit to doing something even if it scares you. Especially if it scares you. Do something a little crazy, something out of the norm, something totally unexpected.
Now I’m not talking about doing anything dangerous or overly rebellious or ridiculously scary that it puts you in your panic zone.
But I do think it may be time to let loose, just a little.
So what would letting your hair down or loosening your tie look like to you?
And what is one small action you could take on this week to do just that?
Go ahead. I dare you.
(And let please let me know what you did! I wanna celebrate with you! Share in the comments below…)
Have a FAB week!