I’ve been doing some networking in the context of building my business relationships in my local community, something I haven’t really done before and its quite an interesting process. One thing I notice in particular is how similar my backchat is to when I was younger and spending a lot of time recording music on my own. I had this desire to go a play my music live but every time I thought about approaching a venue all these thoughts and imaginations would go through my head basically saying/visualizing the being rejected.
Today I went to this business meetup group and its funny because when my partner first brought it up (she found out about the meetup only 2 hours before it was scheduled to begin), I really did not want to do it. I mean, I see the value in going and building relationships with other business owners and professionals, but there was this point within me that was like “No, I do not want to do it, I’m not ready, I’ll just do it another time.” And there were justifications like, its too formal, or there will be too many people, or I won’t know how to present myself effectively, etc but they were all just justifications to not do it. I realized in that moment that I had a choice to either listen to the thoughts and justifications or to just do it anyway and I also saw that if I gave in and decided not to go that it would be even harder the next time.
So I put on my suit and I went. When I got to the event, it was at a small restaurant and the restaurant host greeted me at the door. I told him I was there for the business group and he pointed to the bar area where there were about 10 people standing around chatting with name tags. I immediately headed for the bathroom, lol. I didn’t want to go in there and face all those people. So, I stood in the bathroom for about 5 minutes or so just breathing and I realized that I was facing the same point that I had faced all those years ago when I wanted to play live music. I was only imagining the worst case scenario, that I would be rejected, that people would be uninterested in me, that I would fail. So I set my resolve and I told myself that I would just go and do it and no matter the result, the important thing is that I do it and that I will also learn from the experience, which will make it easier in the future.
So I went into the room and started chatting with people. I talked to a number of different people about their businesses and I shared what I do – I got some business cards and then after an hour and a half I left. The funny thing is that it wasn’t anything like it was in my head. Some people were interested in what I had to say, some weren’t, but in the end, I was just talking to people and when I was there talking, the nervousness was gone.
So its interesting in the context of looking at for example how I have defined certain words as different situations and how I would react to those situations and even have this almost physical resistance come up where I was almost too afraid to leave the bathroom. I’m glad that I walked through the resistance though. I see that I have a lot to learn in terms of communicating with others and listening to what they have to say and expressing what I do in a way where the other person sees the value in it for themselves. So I know it’s a learning process, but its also cool that I was able to overcome this fear of just even trying. So I’ve scheduled myself to go to another event similar to this one tomorrow and I’m sure I will learn even more.
tags: networking, fear, people, meeting, business, relationship, building