LinkedIn: Being Awkward (The Road to Success)

You can do it all, right?

You are moving up the career ladder at lightning pace, you have wonderful friends that you socialise with regularly and your home finally has those finishing touches that you’ve been working on for years. But something isn’t right.

Hey – we’ve all been there on a Friday night, exhausted and more ready for bed than a night out on the town.

There’s something you need to know.

It’s not normal.

The fatigue, the weariness, the reluctance to get out of bed. Sound familiar? Start being awkward and reclaim your time and energy.

Say no to rubbish invitations.

Just stop. Stop accepting every invite under the sun! Chances are that you aren’t that bothered about going to your old school friend’s wedding – you haven’t spoken in years and you know it’ll cost a bomb to get there (not including the new outfit that you’ll have to buy). Say no! Politely turn down the invitation and enjoy the money and time that you saved. Let’s face it, your friend is not going to be offended that you didn’t tag along and abuse the free bar.

Ask for time to make decisions.

This one is tough – especially when it involves work. It might be a colleague asking you to help out or a boss trying to fob off a project – whatever the decision, tell them you’ll get back to them later. Decisions made on the spur of the moment don’t always reflect what you want. If you’re dealing with someone pushy this could be a challenge, but there are few people who would say no to giving you some thinking time. You’ll be surprised at how much time you free up by thinking things through this way. Honestly, Jeanette from HR does not care if you don’t have time to survey your staff about whether they’d like to do team-building in an imitation of the Crystal Maze.

Go with your gut (even if it scares you).

Sounds wishy-washy, I know. But at the end of it all, if you follow your instincts, you will feel better regardless of how the situation works out. A quick analogy: Bob hates heights, but Joe wants him to go bungee jumping. Bob can go bungee jumping, feel terrible about it in the months leading up to it, sick when it comes to the day and may or may not enjoy it. On the other hand, Bob could just say “Screw it! I don’t like heights!” and spend jump day sitting around in his PJs watching TV and not regretting his choice at all. You don’t have to like or do what anyone else says you have to (even if it’s on a bucket list somewhere in the social media sphere). Sometimes, your gut will tell you to do something very scary. Trust me, it’s the right option.

Talk to yourself like you’re an absolute hero.

I mean it – as cheesy as possible. Even if all you’ve done today is manage to throw a crumpled piece of paper into a bin over a metre away, applaud yourself for it. Have an entrance song in your head for when you enter any room (yes, like wrestling). Say things out loud about yourself that wouldn’t sound out of place in Batman vs Superman (perhaps when you’re alone, not in the office). First of all, this is hilarious and will make you feel happier just because it is so ridiculous. Secondly, if you do it enough, you will boost your ego (and potentially become a superhero*).

Being awkward isn’t a negative – you are just rising above the millions of others who haven’t realised that this is the way forward. Funnily enough, the moment you start being that awkward person tends to be the moment you get noticed.

Here are some classic WWF entrance themes to get you inspired!

*Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee that you will become a superhero.

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