Quite often I find myself excluded or sad because I wasn’t invited somewhere. A group of girls would be planning to go out or go off to a winery day, and I would lament about how I wasn’t invited. Recently I watched this kind of situation unfold as a third party. I had already invited the person to join me, but the answer was “maybe.” However, as the event got closer, I watched as the people she thought might take her with them made their own plans, get excited about the upcoming day, and I could picture her shrinking and shrinking further away. From this vantage point I gained some clarity. The girls were not intentionally leaving her out, she had to but ask to be included. This completely changed my experiences going forward.
She had but ask. I had to but ask to be included. People are social creatures by nature—ever noticed how close another person will sit to you in an empty theater? Inclusion is habit. I realized that I needed to take ownership of the outcome I wanted to see, and assert myself. If I want to go, I should ask if I can. If I want a piece of the pizza, I have to just ask (and offer some dollars, of course). I’ve found that frequently people don’t even realize the oversight, and the response is overwhelming positive. And if it isn’t…well that says something about the person, too.
Taking ownership of our own outcomes is just one thing we can do to start regaining control of our own lives. I have often left it up to chance—God, the universe, or whatever—and haven’t seen the results I was looking for. What is that saying? God helps those who help themselves? I’ve found that once I start being proactive, I not only feel empowered and encouraged, but also start seeing the pieces coming together. If I wait, I see nothing. If I act, I see movement.
Now that I’m pushing 30, I’m able to see myself more clearly. Strong but kind, with lots to offer in friendship and helping others walk their path. If I want something, I am more apt to articulate it.
Be apt. Start the changes to see the outcomes you want. Be proactive. Take the lead in your own play. I assure you the applause will be tremendous.