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YOU Are A Game-Changer

You are a game-changer! That’s right, I said it! 

While it is so cliché we almost ignore it, the statement still holds true: “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.”

Those who know me, never believe me when I say this, but I’m shy. I have never been the type to enjoy walking into a room of people I don’t know to introduce myself. I can remember being in college and being so fearful of going to the cafeteria alone that there were some times I wouldn't even eat. If someone wasn’t arriving with me at a meeting or an event, I was not going. Period.

Even in adulthood, I’ve struggled with my not-so-little fear. I didn't want to join my massive church choir until I had a friend to tryout with me. My shyness (and fear of rejection) have gripped me to the point that I realize I have suffocated my potential. Yes, I finally see I’ve put so many of my dreams in a chokehold because if my sister or friends can’t get to a networking function with me, I am at home in my comfort zone, wrapped in a Snuggy where I want to be. I’m not passing out cd’s, I’m not getting to know other writers; I am parked in front of my computer writing unread stories and songs or parked in front of my tv with a can of Pecan Icing and a spoon. I am not passing out business cards to others in my field; I am this stifled caterpillar who is totally fine with NEVER leaving my cocoon…..But it sure is dark and lonely in here…..and not much of a career move, as you may imagine.

So, look at me at 31 still learning myself and daring to take chances. I went to Adult Game Night at a local spot in my neighborhood, but for the first time in all my decades, arrived alone. Sure, there were other people there ready to play Twister and Taboo and Monopoly and have drinks but in a major personal game-changer, I got there by myself, not with a throng of friends to giggle with, not with the expectation of anyone I knew arriving later to rescue me from the threat of having to introduce myself to new acquaintances. Just little old me, stepping out of my comfort zone.

Sure to some reader this is no big deal. But have you ever had to face a fear? Ever had to try something new? Ever have to step out and push yourself further than thought you could? Yes, that was me on this day. Oh if you could have been there to see me saunter in slowly and slither from pillar to pillar trying to blend in with the walls, hoping no one noticed how incredibly awkward and alone I felt. I honestly imagined there was a big flashing arrow over my head that said, “Hey everyone, look at me---lonely dork in the corner accepting applications for something to talk to besides the wall!!!”

But then something shifted. I said to myself, “Well you made it this far….” I mean, after all, I’d dropped off my daughter at the sitter’s, driven 25 minutes to the venue and gotten out of the car. Had I done all of that just to blend in with the paint? Certainly not! So I inhaled and exhaled and then approached a group of folks getting ready to play some board game I’d never even heard of. Not only did they welcome me with warm smiles but they even overlooked my novice level of comprehension and taught me the game with patience and grace. Y’all, I ended up having a ball!

Why am I telling you all of this? Because to anyone who happens to read this blog, let me go ahead and dispel the myth now. It is ABSOLUTELY true that if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you’ve always got. How dare I limit my dreams to the availability in someone else’s schedule? How dare I continually put my life on pause because of my fear of non-acceptance, because of my avoiding crowds or new faces or shoot, simply avoiding being out alone? How much further would I be in my career and my passion if I would have pushed myself beyond my comfort zone, my personal confinements, YEARS ago!?!

I am writing this because you are your game changer. No more waiting for opportunity to knock---you go and kick down that heffa’s door and say, “Let me in!!!!!” No more postponing your victory and your career move or your dream because you are scared of the risk or the outcome. IF YOU ALWAYS DO WHAT YOU HAVE ALWAYS DONE, YOU WILL ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS GOT and I refuse to go forward living a life of untapped potential, living a life of, “Man, I wish I would have ___________________.” ß------you fill in the blank.

That one game night showed me I am made of so much more than I thought. Since then, I’ve been bolder, I’ve double-dared myself more to take leaps of faith that before were so unfathomable to me; my natural inclination likes to know the odds and play it safe. Even walking into karaoke for Valentine’s Day this year was huge. Usually I need my “Amen” corner of folks who I KNOW are going to applaud even if I totally massacre the song. But nope, I walked right in, asked the DJ for a mic and enjoyed every minute of it!

YOU ARE THE GAME CHANGER! If there is anything in your life that needs an upgrade---your attitude, your friends, your direction, your focus, your opportunities, your faith---YOU ARE THE CATALYST! You are the common denominator. You are the game changer! IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU!!!

Scrabble anyone??? Having a ball at Adult Game Night!

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