Have you ever seen someone enter the room and the whole attention goes to them? No, it is not that they are famous. That would be an obvious reaction. I mean the Average Joe who walks into a meeting or a room and you feel their presence. This is a quality wished by many and it is not as difficult to obtain as we may think. It takes good practice and work of course but it is not impossible.
I remember entering a room and feeling like I was nothing. Comparing myself to other people's accomplishments which gave me the feeling of not belonging. I would take a glass of whatever on one hand and with the other one, I would browse on my phone trying to look busy. Perhaps this resonates with you and if you default to saying "how pathetic" hold your horses there because the point is that during these situations we didn't know any better.
The world is a projection of ourselves and not the other way around. We project to the world who we consider ourselves to be. I say consider because in most cases our projection is often inaccurate. What we think of ourselves, is what we think people see us as. If you think you are not good enough, then your assumption is that people see you or will find out that you are not good enough (imposter syndrome) when in reality your assumption could be very far from what they really think about you. But it doesn't matter what they think or say to you because what really matters is how you feel deep down about yourself.
We don't learn this in school nor it is taught by our parents so be kind to yourself.
Testing my assumptions is something I truly enjoy. Although it terrifies me at the beginning, I managed to coach myself to get a kick out of taking risks. Every assumption that we have is a reflection of who we believe we are
The first thing step was to do research on nonverbal communication. Understand who was up for chatting, and who wasn't. Who was nervous (hence guy with a drink on his hand and the phone in the other) and who was ready to socialize. When and how to enter a group conversation. And most importantly, how to calm my negative self talk down.
It is one thing to pretend that you have everything under control and it is another to feel like you are in control of yourself. This took a bit more practice of course and it was possible by creating the right strategy.
Here is my strategy:
1. What is my outcome?
Whenever meeting with people or doing something, it is important that you have a clear understanding of your desired outcome.
2. Who am I meeting and what do we have in common?
This is an important step because once you find similarities regardless of how simple they are, you will feel like you belong among them which will help you calm down.
3. What is my value contribution?
Although I have the desired outcome, it is not always all about me and my personal gains. I realized a long time ago that I have a much better time, build long-term relationships and generate more success in my life when my thoughts are about bringing people value to their lives and businesses. When you greet someone, put your phone away and make eye contact as you shake their hand. There is nothing more harmful than giving someone a handshake while you look somewhere else. People want to feel seen just as much as you want to feel seen and acknowledged. Show people that you see them and that they are important because they truly are.
4. Understand that not everyone will love me and they don't have to.
I am known to be a people pleaser. Throughout my whole life, I was doing it to gain the approval of people and feel part of the group. Today I please people when it doesn't negatively impact me and when it's about making their lives more pleasant. The way that this was possible, was to go through a self-love discovery process that today you can find included in my Rewire Seminars and retreats.
5. Understand that things won't always go according to plan and that it is not the end of the world.
At the end of the day, no one can evaluate myself worth. Only you can value yourself as a person. We are conditioned to seek the approval of others in order for us to feel loved and accepted. Yet quite often people realize in my seminars how little they have spent loving and accepting themselves for who they are.
I'd like to conclude by inviting you to for once in your life let go of the rigidness and trying to be someone that you are not because that's what you think society expects of you. Remember that it is okay to be yourself as imperfect as you are and will always be because we are humans and there is no such thing as perfection. The next time you feel anxiety in such a social setting remember the five steps and work through them. Soon enough you will realize that once you show up as who you truly are, people will start gravitating towards you and give you the attention you deserve.
We have been given the gift of individuality and self-expression. Let's use it to make a positive impact in the world and generate fulfillment.
PS: If you enjoyed this short article, check out my other article about coping with anxiety.
Till the next time,
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