Sounds interesting right?
A few weeks ago I was set a challenge, a dare some might say…
It all started when my psychologist was telling me about her training days, part of her training required her to take herself out of her comfort zone and put herself in the shoes of the patients she would one day work with.
So one day, she found herself in a busy shopping mall, placed herself in the middle and stood on one leg. She did this on and off all day. Why did she do this? To prove to herself that she didn’t have to care about what other people thought of her. I laughed. How mad. Surely everyone looked at her as if she was nuts? They did. She felt self conscious at first, however as the day went on, she stopped caring.
And that is what she wants me to do. To accept that sometimes others may be thinking negatively about me and realise that it makes no difference to my life if they are or not! Easier said than done for the overthinking mum with self esteem issues and social anxiety.
To test this for myself, she asked me to take myself out of my comfort zone. Push my boundaries and do something odd to see how many people actually cared. By doing this one step at a time, I would eventually be able to stop myself overthinking and in turn reduce my anxiety…apparently.
A week passed and I was too anxious to do anything out of my comfort zone. My psychologist was not impressed. I was due to work later that day, I do casual work for a local bistro as a hostess/waitress, the ‘uniform’ being all black. I couldn’t find any black socks to wear with my black pumps (socks with pumps, already a fashion faux pas I know!). It was cold out and I didn’t feel like taking my current brightly coloured socks off.
Okay, this probably doesn’t sound like a big deal to most, wearing bright socks with pumps. But when I spend all of my energy on worrying about what others are thinking about me, this is kinda huge.
I walked to work with my stomach in knots, I was building up all sorts of thoughts in my head. What if my boss told me to take them off? What would I say? What if a customer stared? What if someone laughed at me?
I imagined serving someone I knew and them going home to tell their friends that they’d seen me wearing funny socks at work and that I was obviously an unfit mother. My thoughts quickly catastrophised from seemingly problem free to disastrous.
I took a deep breath and stepped in. I worked for around 4 hours and to my surprise, no one said anything about my socks! Of course they didn’t, why would they? I had been so busy that I had even forgotten I was wearing bright socks. It wasn’t until I walked home that I remembered. I started to over think again, but then stopped myself.
No one had said anything. Everyone had a good night. The colour of my socks had no impact on any aspect of the night.
I continued to walk on my own through the dark high street and suddenly felt a weight lift from me. I could feel a cheesy grin spread across my face and I let out a little giggle. No one cared what I was wearing, why would they? I had done my job, and everyone had left happy.
I craved that feeling, so for the next week I wore patterned socks every day. Only two people said anything, a close friend joked when I was wearing Christmas socks (I was pushing it a bit that day!) and my boss, when he accidentally stepped on my foot and noticed them, he just joked that they were a bit bright.
Instead of feeling self conscious, I laughed along both times and continued as if nothing had happened. The complete opposite from the week before, where I would have panicked for days over who they might have told or what they would have thought.
So, are you willing to accept my dare? Show off your snazzy socks in public and see who cares – you’ll be surprised by how much it could brighten your day!
Share your photos with me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #thesnazzysockchallenge – I can’t wait to see your ‘snazzy’ socks!