Hi from Sophie.
This weekend, I went to my high school reunion. I can't say how many years it's been since I left school but let's just say, it's more than 20 and less then 35.
I nearly backed out when I found out my best friend from school couldn't be there.
But thanks to Facebook, I had connected with some girls who I hadn't been that close to at school, so the anxiety diminished a little.
Our school is an imposing sandstone building at the top of a hill overlooking the water and it never ceases to take my breath away by its physical beauty and presence.
But as soon as I met up with a few girls and we began walking about the playground, I had a strong sensation of being transported back to a place where you were a different person, had a different role in life, a student, a daughter, a teenager, and most importantly, different expectations of yourself.
I will admit it felt disconcerting to be flooded with feelings you felt as your younger self.
It wasn't easy to reconcile the persona back then that school friends probably remember of the slightly rebellious teenage girl, with the now responsible mother and step mother to four boys.
And then at the last minute, the organisers asked to me to make a quick speech. And when I stood up in front of my school friends, that's when it hit me. That feeling I can only call 'imposter syndrome'.
I even said it to the girls "I'm not meant to be up here. It should be our school captain making this speech. I wasn't even good enough to be a prefect." It got a laugh.
Even Nobel Laureate Maya Angelou once said: “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out."
I didn't make the world's best speech. When I sat down, I thought of all the meaningful things I could have said.
But as we went around the room chatting, giving each other our potted life histories, " Hi I'm Sophie. I have 4 boys and work in television' I let go of my feelings of that awkward teenager that the girls might remember and to just be myself, who I am now.
It made me realise that challenging yourself, like going to a school reunion can be a good thing because it forces you to step out of your comfort zone.
The best experiences can happen when you challenge yourself and face your fears head on.
And looking back, the most meaningful achievements in life (having kids, getting married to my husband Phil, my books and TV work) have occurred only when I stepped out of my comfort zone and challenged myself to do something I had never done before.
So this is why you should reconnect with people from your past, whether it's a school, family or work reunion. :)
* It makes you realise how far you have come.
* It makes you realise you are not the same person you used to be, and that's a good thing. Change means growth. Being the same means you are standing still.
* It makes you appreciate the value of a shared experience, and that the bonds that unite us, like going to high school together, are stronger than what divides us.
For more of my thoughts on happiness and psychology, read my book Roadtesting Happiness." http://www.sophiescott.com.au/store/p2/Roadtesting_Happiness.html
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I would love to hear your comments about how you have stepped outside your comfort zone.
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