Getting over your awkward phase…

A girl who was working for me one year had a hero-worship thing going. At the time I wasn’t clear as to why. She was in her late teens and really just looked up to me as a role model, though I was only a year or two older than her. She asked, “Did you ever go through an awkward phase?”

When she asked I was literally hanging off the side of an industrial shelf like a koala, waiting calmly for her to drag the ladder (which had shaken and dropped) back towards me while she dawdled and asked questions. Not exactly my prized moment, but I had been lucky enough to have a quick reflex when the ladder faltered under my feet. I looked down at her from my perch and answered. “Ya. I’m still there….”

Years have passed since then, and yet if she asked me the same question today, I’d have the same answer for her, though I’m sitting at a desk with my feet planted on solid ground.


Feeling awkward is not necessarily the result of not knowing enough or not being confident enough. Often times It’s that moment of anticipation, where you’ve done your job and are waiting for a response, uncertain. That moment in a negotiation where you put out your hand without being sure whether the other person will take it, when you send a message and don’t know how it will be received or addressed. Awkward moments happen every second of every day. They are precisely the moments where your sure footing falters or you feel uncertain where the path ahead will lead.

The key to escaping your “awkward phase” is to acknowledge your logical options and take a leap of faith into the unknown. Each leap gets a little easier to make based on your previous success/failure. Be optimistic but realistic. No one achieves 100% succeeds 100% of the time. Your chances will always be great if you proceed with sound logic and invest wholeheartedly in your primary product — yourself.

Life in the 21st century is not really designed for the timid or the uncertain. You have to reach out and grab an opportunity with both hands, which often means you’ll need to abandon the safe and steady ground you were just treading to follow an uncertain new path.

Remember that success is great, but failure is often just as great and can lead to non-linear opportunities and ventures you had not considered before. Just trust your reflexes, inner strength, and experience. 🙂

Dedicating this post to single parents who are struggling with new ventures. Jaya!