By Dahlia Sperling, Marketing Assistant, Star Staffing.
I know that the feeling of trepidation and uncertainty is a common occurrence in social settings. That sudden knot we feel in our stomach or the anxiety we may feel about new connections, networking, or even about continuing an established relationship. All these feelings dominated by fear are stumbling blocks that we put in front of ourselves, they are what make a person not dare to initiate a conversation with a stranger, or … you can fill in the blanks. Everyone has these feelings at one point or another in their lives.
The good news is that we can use them to our advantage because, in a way, they measure the intensity of our lives; they are the emotions that make us feel alive. We just need to be honest with ourselves about them, and things will fall into place. I’m talking about being honest and transparent about our goals even when they make us uncomfortable or force us to navigate unchartered territory.
Here are six steps you can utilize to help you with the fear of becoming better networkers.
1. Analyze the Fear
The fear of the unknown gets us all. By examining the base of your apprehension you can determine what would be the appropriate plan of attack. Take a deep breath and redirect yourself to focus on what your fears are. Usually it’s never as bad as we make it in our mind. Envision the outcome you would like to have. Learn why, and then take another viewpoint. Do your research.
2. Take Control
I have learned that being transparent with your goals and staying centered will drive your ambition on the right path. By understanding why you feel this inclination of uneasiness or awkwardness, you will recognize how to overcome the obstacles that inhibit your progress. Make sure you are interested in every action to gain the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Making mistakes, or rather learning new lessons, will benefit you in achieving those goals in the long run. Let fear become a source of fascination. Expose yourself to the fear so you may learn from it.
Stay determined and hone in practicing over and over again. Remember that you have the power to choose. Attending more networking opportunities will contribute in your self-awareness and personal growth. See these events as a chance to understand what you need to work on.
4. Continue to be Strong
Don’t let your momentum subside. Stay determined. We tend to take challenges as a setback that can be hard to overcome. We are only human after all, and expecting flawlessness each time is impractical. Allow yourself to see fear as a chance to learn. You might not take care of business the first time, but practice makes you perfect. Remember that life can be messy but remember to be open to your growth.
Don’t wait until you can cross “excellent networker” off your list. Pat yourself on the back each time you take a stride closer, reward yourself in some way. It might be to conquer the next challenge by attending more events; speaking to more people you do not know. Realize that you are making moves in the right direction and that is something to be proud of.
6. Becoming Friends with your Fear
Let fear have a place with you. Fear builds character and teaches us how to act with courage.
Whether you are creating a clear goal of how to practice the art of communication, or refining the art of cultivating new relationships, remember that networking is a two-way mutually beneficial relationship that both parties can gain a lot from. So without a moment of hesitation, spring into fear, and be proactive in your own self growth.