I woke up feeling terrified this morning.
I went to sleep feeling scared and miserable last night.
It’s simply because today I’m attending a networking and learning event, in London.
Yes, the day has finally arrived, and it’s time for Soulful PR Live 2017, organised by the fabulous Janet Murray. The halls of The Trampery are filled with brilliant, warm female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.
Happily, in normal daily life, I’m confident, calm, and always delighted to talk to anyone about the wonders of hypnotherapy and coaching. Unfortunately, I’ve had a difficult week (I’m a human being) and a lot of my old fears and anxieties have been raising their ugly heads.
Feelings of not being good enough, ‘imposter syndrome’, shyness, and social anxiety are all bubbling away. Add to this the fact that I’m an introverted extrovert, so events like this can feel very draining (however good I’m feeling).
I guess you’ll either understand my terror, or you’ll think it strange, maybe even funny, that I could feel this way about a well-organised, friendly and professional event, populated by like-minded souls.
If you do empathise, then perhaps you have too have dreaded a situation that requires you to present and promote yourself, or your business. Perhaps you’ve even avoided such an opportunity.
Which is a great shame, because such an occasion really IS an opportunity, and one I believe you should seize with enthusiasm.
There are three vital reasons for this:
First, making connections is really important, because people do business with people. The truth is that there’s just no substitute for getting out there and meeting real human beings, putting faces to names, shaking hands, chatting over a coffee, sharing a laugh, and forging a professional relationship. Heck, you might even make a friend! No branding or email in the world can compete with a real working relationship, or the memory of a shared experience.
You’re an amazing human being, and there are other amazing human beings out there ready to meet and connect with you.
Second, every time you do something that scares you, you will boost your self-confidence. Nothing will make you grow faster as a person – and as a professional – than overcoming your fears and doubts. Ideally, you should attempt one such challenge every single day. I know it can be daunting, especially if you are feeling less than your best, but I have some tips for how to do this, and how to make a habit of it so that being courageous becomes second nature.
Third, if you don’t go, your fears and doubts will actually INCREASE! Avoidance is the favoured strategy of the fearful, but in fact it adds weight and credence to phobia, because it reinforces our belief that the avoided stimulus is awful. Studies have shown that the fear of pain is much worse than actual pain endured, and this is also true for any activities that we dread. I’m sure you know what it’s like if you’ve got to have a difficult conversation: nine times out of ten you feel worse BEFORE you make that call than you do afterwards.
Fourth, you’ll gain something new (and often unexpected) from every experience of networking. Whether you pick up some amazing tips, develop wisdom, make a vital new contact, learn a trick of the trade, or just have way more fun than you could have imagined, every new experience and encounter leaves you smarter. And that will help you to grow in confidence, making the next one easier.
Fifth, and possibly most importantly, the world needs your magic, your unique gifts, your contribution. If you stay at home, or hide in your office, and do not get out there and let people know what you’ve got, you’re doing yourself (and everyone else) a huge disservice. You were not born to hide your light. You are here to shine! To sparkle, and dazzle! So take a deep breath, and smile, and let’s do this.
So then, just HOW do we do it?
I use positive visualisation with self-hypnosis on days like this, so that I can see myself walking tall, smiling with confidence, and enjoying the experience of meeting so many amazing people.
Yoga, meditation, keeping my blood-sugar constant, breathing properly and taking a few strategic ‘time-outs’ will all also help to boost my confidence and maintain my positive energy.
It’s not always easy, but I have ALWAYS found it to be worth the effort of overcoming fear and doubt.
There can be no courage without vulnerability, so the fact that we’re scared is what makes us brave. Using hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioural techniques, I have learned to manage my anxieties and emotions, and you can too.
Practising courage and confidence over fear and self-doubt can become a habit, and it is one that will help you to succeed in life, no matter what challenges come your way.
I hope that by sharing this, I’ve helped you to feel braver. It’s my mission to help you to overcome your challenges and learn to shine, today and every day.
If you would love to know more about HOW to feel braver and more confident, then you can look forward to my next post, 5 ways to shine at your next event, or you can contact me at The Seymour Clinic. I’d love to help you!