This time of year is an exciting season of accomplishment and festivity, full of friends and family. Semesters are ending, graduations are occurring, people are getting married, friends are reuniting and holidays are being celebrated … needless to say, summer celebrations are in full swing.
In the midst of such a busy, yet exciting, social season the much dreaded conversations about “what are you up to now?” or “so, what’s next?” are inevitable. Depending on the answer, questions about current accomplishments or future plans more often than not bring up feelings of inadequacy and worry. So before we find ourselves in this situation, lets catch that killjoy of comparison and learn how to properly respond to such questions with confidence and poise.
Spend Time Reflecting
Remind yourself of what you have accomplished over the past year or semester. It is so easy, especially in the midst of the unknown or at the start of something new, to forget how much you have done up until that point. You may be graduating from college without a job set in stone, but hey! You just graduated from college. Allow the feeling of accomplishment to find its place ahead of those feelings of panic or anxiety.
Keep It Short
As you are reflecting on how you’re going to share your life with others, develop a three-minute highlight reel to give others a quick but well-rounded overview. I always get caught up at this part and find myself sharing more information than people really want to hear. While I am convinced that others are genuinely interested in what I am doing in life, I also know they are not interested in a conversation that isolates them from the surrounding social situation. If someone is interested in chatting more, perhaps suggest a coffee date or a time aside from the current setting where a longer conversation could be more appropriate.
There is a certain beauty that comes from a woman who is confident and unwavering about the path set before her. While some of us may have exciting adventures ahead that naturally instill confidence, others may be walking a path of the unknown, where fear easily creeps in and confidence is scarce. I’m not saying that you have to stay positive while displaying your life as rainbows and butterflies, for it is encouraging to share your lows amongst your highs, but a conversation with confidence sets a mood and tone of an interaction that can be carried throughout the rest of the day. A sense of confidence in what lies ahead may also encourage the listener for whatever journey they may find themselves on.
These three points are just a few simple reminders to consider before engaging in those social situations where conversations about the future often arise. So throw on a sundress, put on some red lipstick and walk boldly into this season of celebration, knowing that regardless of the path ahead, you are of great value. With confidence, you can define your own version of success along your way.
Image via Jamie Thompson