Just Go Down the Chute: An Indecisive Introvert’s Mantra

What should I be when I grow up? Do I stay an extra day while I’m on my trip? Should I rebrand the blog? I need a new Twitter handle – what should I change it to?

Be it a big question (life goals) or a small one (do I get the fish or the pasta?), I all too often get easily and stupidly overwhelmed. “Why”, you may ask?

I overthink EVERYTHING.

It took me a long time to realize that this is primarily rooted in fear.

Fear of the unknown? Maybe.

Fear of making the wrong decision? Fear of looking STUPID?


So I research. I Google. I ask questions. I try to get all the information. (If it’s about pasta versus seafood, I’ll limit that to getting the server’s opinion.) Yes, it’s a bit neurotic.

The other prong on this pitchfork of wonky personality is my introvertedness. I’m fine one-on-one, but put me in a crowd of people and tell me to socialize? That is the third circle of hell to an introvert.

Oh, I’m a hot mess. I feel awkward, I LOOK awkward (hello, resting bitch face, I’m looking at you) and self-conscious doesn’t begin to describe how I feel.

And talking? Especially to strangers? (Fine, make that to anyone who isn’t a close personal friend?) In my head, I know what I want to say. But when I open my mouth…I can’t articulate my thoughts.


Or I say WAYYY too much, and want to crawl into a closet.

It’s why I like writing.

There is the ability to edit, AND a glorious DELETE key.


* * * *

Next week I’ll be in Orlando at the Mom 2.0 Summit, so you can imagine the levels of anxiety that are building, the thoughts that are running through my head. (What should I pack? Do I look fat? Does it even matter, because will anyone talk to me? OMG, I still can’t get through my elevator pitch without stuttering.)

The reality of it all, though, is that I don’t want to be the one hiding in the bathroom or at the edge of the group, nor do I want exchanges to feel like such an EFFORT. You’d be surprised at what might seem simple to you is painful for an introvert – and why I will forever be practicing my elevator pitch for conferences.


But I go, and I will try, because reticence gets you nowhere.  In her 2013 biography “Bossypants“, Tina Fey wrote something that really stuck with me:



And that’s it, isn’t it?

You just need to DO, and own the decision. Order the fish and wish you got the chicken? Well, that’s another excuse to go back.
(Likewise, order the fish and get food poisoning? You NEVER have to go back. True story.)
TAKE the extra day at the conference. MAKE a decision about the stupid Twitter handle.

Just choose, and get on with it. Indecision is a bitch who doesn’t care that life is short.

Sometimes you have to just go, because you realize it wasn’t as bad/scary/awful as you feared, that the imagining was scarier than the reality.

It’s my silent mantra when I get anxious about something: just go down the chute. Sure, I might not zip down the chute – I could be that one person who slowwwwwly slides down, waiting for the person above her to ram into her shoulders; I could be that person that has to use their hands to push themselves down because the water isn’t enough to carry them along.  (That’s actually a pretty apt analogy for how I feel at conference sometimes – I’m pulling myself along awkwardly with my feet, but I’m in there.)

Sometimes, just jumping in and going down the chute is accomplishment enough.

Prompt: Share a quote you love. 


  • kat

    Oh I have a hard time with the public too. Conferences can be fun, but I prefer to have a friend to go with and I sneak back to my hotel room for re-energizing breaks. You got this. You will love Mom2.0!

    • Jenn

      I will be going with a friend but she is one who knows EVERYBODY. I’m still the 10yo on the playground waiting to be invited to play four square (even though I don’t really like foursquare) LOL

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