Life is full of unknowns. Every day brings new challenges to conquer. Every day brings strangers into your life. Every day there is something that you haven’t dealt with before.
No one knows what tomorrow will bring. No one. And that can be scary.
And do you know what? It’s okay to be afraid. It’s okay to feel a bit of apprehension churning in your gut. It’s okay to have a little bit of fear.
But what’s not okay is allowing fear to have you. It’s not okay to let this anxiety well up so much inside you that it paralyzes you from taking action on pursuing your hopes and dreams. It’s not okay to allow fear to keep you from making the unknown known.
If you sense fear … when you sense fear, face up to it. Stare it down. And then move through it, whatever it is. Fear can’t have you.
When it comes to building solid networking relationships, small talk is a powerful tool. Small talk opens the door to knowing, liking, and trusting another person. So, why is there apprehension towards small talk?
For many, the thought of engaging in small talk makes them anxious. This anxiety comes from one thing – FEAR. Fear of …
having nothing to contribute.
getting stumped (or running out of conversation).
getting stuck in a conversation with, well, that stranger that Mom warned you about.
FEAR NOT because the strangers your mother warned you about are no longer interested. You have plenty of things to contribute to a conversation and with a little planning and practice you will never get stumped (and if you do, there is a way out).
As for rejection, know this: Everyone has this fear. EVERYONE. Even the most well connected, confident person will tell you that, deep down inside, they have this apprehension. If everyone has this fear, then everyone will welcome you coming up and jumping into a conversation with them.
So, make someone’s day and take away their fear. Engage in some small talk.
Why Is There An Apprehension Towards “Small Talk”?
For many, the thought of engaging in
“small talk” can make them anxious. It comes down to one thing – FEAR. Fear of
being rejected. Fear of having nothing to contribute. Fear of getting stumped
(or running out of conversation). Fear of getting stuck in a conversation with,
well, that stranger that Mom warned you about.
FEAR NOT! The strangers your mother warned
you about are no longer interested. You have things to contribute and with a
little planning and practice you will never get stumped (and if you do, there
is a way out).
As for rejection, know this: Everyone has this fear. EVERYONE. Even the most well connected, confident person will tell you that deep down inside, they have this apprehension. If everyone has this fear, then everyone will welcome you coming up and jumping into conversation with them.
So make someone’s day. Engage in some
“small talk” with them.
Overcoming Aversion to Attending Networking Events
According to research, among people’s greatest fears are:
• Death By Fire;
• Public Speaking; &
• Vacationing With In-Laws
Not far behind is finding oneself in a room of total strangers. Even if you don’t fear that situation, you might NOT be totally comfortable with it. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
One surefire method to overcome the anxiety of being at events is to Have The Right Frame of Mind. While this may sound obvious, there are plenty of people who trip themselves up at networking events before they actually show up.
Remember that networking works, although not always exactly as you had hoped. Before you embark on the networking event, you need to truly believe that the process works and that your mere presence has set that process in motion.
While your mere presence is important, you will totally undermine your efforts if you bring with you anything but a positive disposition. Now, not every day, month or year, for that matter, can be a good one, but there is something good about each. Reflect on the positive aspects of your personal and professional life. Do what you can to be of uplifting spirits. Remember, while support groups can be a networking opportunity, most networking events are not designed to be support groups. Leave your worries at the door, to the extent possible.
Finally, embark on any networking event with a sincere expectation of the outcome. It may not be all that you hoped for, since there is no guarantee that you will get a new client out of it. But know this – something will come from you being there. You might meet someone that can refer you or put you one step closer to a new client. You might reconnect with a former client or center of influence or gain a piece of information that holds untold value. There is a plethora of potential benefit that can come from any networking event. You will never get it all, but you will always likely get something.