Hello SOTGC community,
Most people would describe me as a confident, outgoing sorta gal. I can easily strike up conversations with strangers at the gym or in the grocery store. I’ve made presentations to executive leadership teams and facilitated sessions with over 125 attendees without even breaking a sweat.
I’m the anti-shy.
Until, that is, I walk into a professional networking event. Uggh. I usually make a bee-line for an empty table (OK, so I might stop at the bar for a glass of liquid courage first), where I pretend to answer urgent emails on my phone (OK, so I might actually be playing Words with Friends), and desperately avoid making eye contact with anyone I don’t know.
If I do happen to see someone I know, I cling to that person like kudzu on a Georgia Pine.
How can someone who is normally so bold, so self-assured, turn into a completely different person? Maybe I’m afraid people won’t find me interesting or funny.
Nah, that can’t be it ….
Whatever the reason, I’m determined to overcome this limiting mindset. So I did what any good coach does when she’s faced with a problem to solve – I called my coach.
I explained my short-term goal to overcome my networking anxiety and how confidently networking would lead to my long-term goals. After some discussion she looked at me and asked one simple yet powerful question.
Coach: What would it look like to act “as if” you already have it?
Casey: I’m sorry, what?
Coach: What would it look like to act “as if” you already have that level of confidence at networking events?
I hate when my coach goes all Super Soul Sunday on me, but I played along.
I closed my eyes and painted the mental picture. I could see myself looking sharp in my favorite white pantsuit, the one that says I’m a seasoned professional who also happens to be feminine and a little sassy. I could see myself asking intelligent questions and sharing my story (without rambling or tripping over my words). I could see myself demonstrating powerful yet approachable body language.
I could see myself as confident.
Casey: It can’t be that simple? I can’t just WILL myself into being more confident.
Coach: What makes you think you can’t?
Truth is I didn’t have an answer. Truth is it made perfect sense. By acting “as if” I am confident I could actually create a mindset of confidence.
I’ll be damned if it didn’t work. I rocked that networking event like I owned it!
Now it’s your turn. Is there an area in your life where you could boost your confidence by acting “as if?” Share your thoughts in the comment section below.