When You’re Scared Sh*tless
Fears are a bish.
For someone who is a self-proclaimed extrovert that thrives in group settings, networking seems like a kind of hell designed with my anxieties in mind (or at least my thoughts about it conjured up some serious dread). So, I decided the best way to get that idea out of my head was to hit a workout — and hit it hard, I might add — that way, I’d be starving and crave a beer.
Did I mention the social event to be attended was at a bar? Yeah, you’d think the plan I came up with would be an easy way to get me into the spirit of mingling with my peers.
But honestly, I was scared shitless.
Like many other entrepreneurs, I have a slight (massive, rather) fear of being seen. Despite this debility, I have BIG dreams for myself and a few projects underway that’ll lead me right into a spotlight in about 6 months time. With that in mind, it was imperative to get over this fear A.S.A.P. lest I become overwhelmed and drown in my insecurities — and I’m just not okay with that.
Not wanting to sink further into my nervousness, I decided to really push myself to attend this networking event.
I’m a huge Facebook group lurker because of my withdrawn tendencies. That’s why when a friend of a friend invited me to the gathering TuesdaysTogether – Ottawa, ON, I decided then and there that now is better than ever. Truth be told, the infectious energy of my friend’s friend (let’s just call her Lucy) highly motivated me. See, she had recently left her short yet stressful career as a lawyer to work in the wedding industry.
You know, a typical case of the corporate drone let free to kick some serious ass.
Lucy was SO excited to get out there and BE SEEN. I needed this encouragement and craved this energy of hers. She had and still has no idea how this random act of inspiration helped me break through a serious fear of mine. The reason she added me was in hopes I’d be able to find some clients (she told me this, herself). She doesn’t truly understand what I do, but that’s okay. I just appreciated her even thinking of me.
The event was focused on the client experience. It was nowhere near what I expected, and it was incredibly interesting to be around such empowering men and women in real life.
Because we all know the online business world can get hella lonely, sometimes.
I think the most astounding realization when I rocked up to the event was that I was surrounded by people involved in the wedding industry. I’m very anti-wedding and anti-marriage being that I’m an institutional lady … [Insert eye roll from several readers here.] I know, I know, I recognize I’m sooo cliché (I’m still accepting invites for weddings with open bars, though).
So, the environment and energy at the event pushed me even further out of my comfort zone.
It really pushed me out of my comfort zone.
I didn’t let this observation phase me, though. And while I (accidentally) sat at the veterans’ table (long-time attendees who didn’t really let newbies speak much), I was proud of myself for going and facing my fears. Turns out I actually knew a few people there — an Etsy maker (she made a staple in my kitchen decor), a dog walker, and yoga instructor + wedding photographer from my yoga studio.
These simple connections made me realize my fear was completely created in my mind.
Like, come on — I worked as an undergrad TA (Teacher’s Assistant) for 2 years in the Human Rights Department at my University; i.e. I had to know what was up (academically speaking)! I also currently manage 30+ people at a yoga studio and plan community events for them. I interview someone new at least once a week, and this doesn’t make me nervous. And I meet new people on the regular. I mean, I am a late 20s single lady if you know what I mean!
Yet, for some dumb reason, showing up and talking about my business is bloody frightening.
I think it matters more because my business matters more. I have put blood, sweat, tears, mucus, other bodily fluids, and my dog’s bodily fluids (okay, not really, but you catch my drift) into this business, into my brand, and into myself. The last thing I want to do is ruin that.
But the reality is my fears will ruin all this for me if I don’t stop and face them head-on.
So, that’s what I did. I started taking note of where I was being held back and where I was staying comfortable. If I didn’t acknowledge these concerns and start correcting them, I was going to self-sabotage myself, my business, and what I’ve grown in the last 2 years of my life.
And that ain’t happening!
Want to know how I did this? Mel Robbin’s 5-Second Rule was a HUGE game changer for me. Check it out by clicking here!