The more comfortable I became with myself, the more comfortable I became with unfamiliar environments not knowing anyone. 

Melissa Kiss

Because why are we uncomfortable around new people or in new situations in the first place? Once we acclimate to the room and the people, most people slowly open up and get into conversations. It is the unknownthat people so often fear. We don’t know really what to expect from the situation and the people in it. Often thoughts come up like “What do people think of me?” or “Wow, they look so experienced, who am I to be here anyways?” or simply “I’m just not good at making contact with others.”. 

The root of this is an insecurity and fear of judgement. So many people care so much about what other people think about them or simply the feeling of not being enough. That is the underlying root cause for being overwhelmed by a new environment, with new people. Whether that is a new job or a workshop or a training or a conference. 

Personally, I wasn’t even working on becoming more comfortable in these situations. But I did a lot of personal development work, the deep inner work. Getting to know myself, all parts of myself. The ones I am proud of and the ones I am not so proud of. During this time, I became aware of the fact that I was looking for outside validation much more than I had ever thought. I thought that I truly did not care about what other people think of me and what I do. But the reality was, that convincing myself, that other’s opinions don’t mean anything to me, was just a way of protecting myself from the effects these opinions actually had on myself. I was numbing these effects. Pretending they wouldn’t exist. 

Many people have this, as our entire school system is built upon comparison and judgment. As well as many parents tend to compare their children with their other children or other people’s children. Parents do the best they can and I don’t want to blame anyone. But the effects of comparison and judgment (grades), can have a lasting effect on our adult life. Where we keep comparing ourselves constantly with others and fearing we aren’t good enough. 

Today I know, I am enough. Already, today, right now. Despite all the goals I still have for myself and my life. I don’t need anyone’s validation anymore. It is so freeing! 

Melissa Kiss

When I enter an unfamiliar environment, I enter it knowing myself and knowing why I came here. Before I enter the space, I take a few deep breaths and do a mini one- or two-minute meditation, ground myself and become clear about why I decided to come here in the first place. I set my intention and energy that I bring into the space. From there, I enter the room with an open heart, knowing I bring a valuable energy into the space. Even if I am there to learn, to receive and absorb information or to network, I know I always bringsomething to the people I meet and the event. I bring an open mind, a smile, my undivided attention and a whole lot of curiosity into every conversation. And depending on the setting, even much more, if there is space for me to share my perspective or experience.

Without actively working on all of that, I recognized how much more calm I am, when exposed with the unknown. Simply through working on knowing myself, loving myself, deeply accepting myself, and also honoring alone time. I don’t need constant entertainment or things to do. I have learned how precious stillness is. It is a time to listen within. To perceive any emotions or thoughts that come up. I hold space for them to come up and acknowledge them. Which helps me to deepen the connection to myself even more. 

I am also ok with coming into an unfamiliar environment and simply observe the people and things. I don’t feel the need to interact right away. I know I don’t miss out on anything. But I also don’t hide or shy away from making new connections. I just go with the flow of the moment.

Knowing ourselves is the key to how we react to everything in our life. That is why I highly recommend to start with a regular self-care practice. Which to me means practices, that support you in getting to know yourself fully, accept where you are at in your life and trusting that you are exactly where you need to be and that you are always enough. You do you. In your individual timing. Let’s stop comparing and judging. Instead let’s be our amazing selves.