Last week I mentioned how fun it would be to cross networking events off my To Do list and never go to another one of those dreaded mixers again.
Fun for the shy part of me who has always been scared to mingle and meet new people.
We moved to Texas when I was four, and I remember being scared to say hi to the little girl who lived behind us.
I was scared of a four-year old girl!
That scared, shy little girl I was is still inside me. I won’t say she runs my life today, but she’s definitely still inside having her say from time to time.
She was singing halleluia at the thought of no more live networking events.
But there’s another part of me that’s brave and rebellious and determined to get over myself.
That part is a personal growth taskmaster and she doesn’t let me weasel out of challenges, especially ones that make me bump up against the parts of me that might be holding me back.
She’s the one who decides when enough is enough and when it’s time to move past this or that fear.
There are lots of fears she’s helped me get over in my life.
I got over my fear of public speaking after a mortifying speech in seventh grade. I got over my fear of needles when I realized 24 years old was too old to still be busting into tears when I had to get a shot.
I just decided not to be afraid any more. One decision and it was over.
I wonder if getting over my shyness around strangers could be so easy? Can I just decide that I’m through with this fear, too?
Deep-seated fears like these interfere with the glorious lives we are meant to live.
But they also make life richer and more rewarding as we face our fears and transform the energy of fear into an energy that serves to propel us to living larger in the world.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics says that energy is neither created nor destroyed, but it can be transformed.
Transforming the energy of fear may be as easy as making a decision. Or it may take a little more work to get over the inertia that keeps us stuck in place.
So how would you work to transform a fear like this?
What if you suspect that it’s holding you back from creating more prosperity or attracting more money into your life and business? I mean, if I know I can connect with people at networking events, and I know people respond well when I tell them what I do, and there are potential high-value clients RIGHT THERE, asking about my work, why wouldn’t I go?
Here’s what I know…
First, fear of promoting myself and/or my work means I’m not clear on the value I’’m providing to my clients.
This is a major roadblock to success. And money.
It leads to:
- being afraid to ask for the sale.
- ineffective marketing.
It’s not really about being shy or introverted. That’s an excuse that bypasses the bigger issue—lack of conviction that what I’m offering is beneficial to others.
Here’s a mindset shift.
I learned it from Elizabeth Purvis, founder of Goddess Business School. It’s important to make this mindset shift as I go forward toward more prosperity as an entrepreneur—”The knowledge and skills I possess are valuable now and will grow in value over time.”
And here’s a mindset shift I figured out for myself—”I’m walking the path with my clients, and they are inspired by my own transformation.”
Choose a mindset that serves you once you identify the one that doesn’t.
Consciously changing the way you talk to yourself eventually changes the way you see yourself.
And seeing yourself as successful and as someone who inspires and adds values to people’s lives changes the way you talk to yourself. Before you know it, you’re in an upward spiral of providing value and honoring the goodness you bring to your clients.
From there, it’s a short hop to raising your prices; knowing (deep in your marrow) that when someone buys your product or program their life is about to change for the better; and cheerfully telling everyone about what you do and how it will help them.
TRY THIS: Every night, write down at least three examples of the value you provided in the world or the ways you valued yourself that day. Keep track of your value so you can start changing the way you see and talk to yourself. (From Money, A Love Story, by Kate Northrup)
Second, get over the blocks.
Find the tools and strategies that work for you and use them consistently whenever you hit a new block or a new layer of an old block you’ve been struggling with. Some blocks, like fear of rejection, run deep and are ingrained and habitual. Be patient as you work through them and expect them to pop up in a variety of disguises as they fight for their lives.
I know for me, fear of rejection is very much linked to the fear of promoting myself and my work. One of its disguises is procrastination. Another is perfectionism, as in, “I can’t tell anyone about it till it’s perfect and I have all the answers.”
Time to get over it and put it out there. (It will never be as perfect as you want!)
1. EFT, or Emotional Freedom Technique. Also known as tapping, I’ve been exploring this technique lately because of its promise of near-instant gratification. Who doesn’t want that?
Consistency is key. And being willing to explore. And I’m finding the process does take some dedicated time because…layers. Once you start, you’re sure to find more hidden layers that need addressing. So, not really instant. But I can vouch for it’s effectiveness.
2. Look to past success to overcome limiting beliefs.
Explore your past and see where you’ve succeeded in similar situations. Or where you’ve felt the fear and done it anyway. How did you feel after you faced your fear? How did you feel after you succeeded in a similar situation?
I know I’ve had a blast at some networking events and I’ve also made lasting connections and signed up perfect clients. Those are the moments to remember. Not the awkward parties in college or sitting alone at lunch in the eighth grade.
Tap into that feeling of success and power and work to expand it. Visualize yourself doing the thing that scares you, walking into a crowded networking event, and generate those feelings of success and fearlessness. Connect that feeling to the scary event and watch the fear melt away. Have faith and be consistent. It will begin to soften and melt.
3. Assume the position.
Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist who gave a TED talk about power posing before a stressful situation and it’s positive effect on your performance. Think Wonder Woman—wide stance, hands on hips, steady gaze.
Assume the position for two minutes before giving a speech or entering a party or doing whatever scares you. Be the Wonder Woman of your own life. Rock the tiara! (Patriotic bathing suit not necessary.)
Which brings me back to that little girl I was afraid to say hi to when I was four. We eventually became the best of friends. Inseparable, really, until I moved to the next neighborhood. Then inseparable again when we got older and passed each other on our bicycles one day. While we didn’t play Wonder Woman as kids, we did choreograph roller skating routines to bad music in her garage. I remember one song we skated to in particular…“I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar!”
I hope these tools help you start working on dissolving your own blocks, whatever they are. As I said, the key is being willing to explore and peel back the layers. It’s rarely as scary as you think it’s going to be, but get help if you get stuck. Even the best athletes need coaches. An extra pair of eyes and ears to identify the problem areas and offer tried and true tools for improvement. Keep going. You’re so close I bet you can taste it.
Be sure to leave a comment. How do you provide value to the world and what is your new mindset statement that you plan to affirm going forward?
And of course, let me know if you need coaching through your blocks. I’m here to help!