One of my biggest regrets is that although I have attended many
events, I rarely participate. I have spent my whole life being shy and self-conscious and not wanting to look stupid by participating. But I watch (with envy) the people who ARE participating and they are having a great time. Apparently they don’t care whether they might look dumb to others, they are more interested in having a great time.
One valuable piece of advice I received many years ago is that you will probably never see these people again, so do what you want to do (as long as it’s not illegal and no one will get hurt!). I recall that and it really does help bring me into the fun.
I think my problem was that I am not spontaneous. I’m not a to-the-minute planner, but I have to prepare myself for whatever event I am attending. I can play various more spontaneous scenes in my head for weeks, but once I get there, my brain freezes and I become an observer. Luckily, I actually enjoy observing (and sometimes observing is pretty entertaining), but I always wonder what participating would be like.
Thanks to friends, I’ve been participating more. And it is fun! Really fun! And I should have been doing it all along. So participate in the karaoke contest, dress up for the 80’s party, get up and dance, grab a friend or two and jump into that photo booth, and don’t worry about what others might think. Does that really matter? No. It’s what you think and the enjoyment you get from doing those things that matters. Trust me, you won’t regret it!