Heading to the Blissdom Canada conference this year? Wondering how it will go? If you will make connections? What to wear? You might be experiencing the dreaded conference anxiety—an understandable reaction to not only a new experience, but to the idea of putting yourself out there!
“What you are afraid of is never as bad as what you imagine. The fear you let build up in your mind is worse than the situation that actually exists.” —Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese?
I met with a client for whom the unknown was terrifying. She had to attend a work conference and envisioned herself going to half of the first session, succumbing to anxiety, and spending the rest of the conference in bed, ordering pizza to her room. She was afraid and imagined the worst.
The trick for her, and possibly for you, is this: take one step at a time. Sure she couldn't imagine making it to a second session, but that was okay. She simply needed to start with the first five minutes. Then she could decide about the next five, and so on. In the end, she not only survived, but thrived attending the first session and all of the following events.
“I’m intimidated by the fear of being average.” —Taylor Swift
Perhaps being average isn't your biggest fear, but low followings, minimal ad revenue, or unique enough content might be.
Try not to compare yourself to others. Someone is always ahead of the game with a book deal or a gazillion followers, and that is okay. People have worked hard to get where they have and you can learn from them! Prepare questions and re-frame the comparison into an opportunity for you to learn and grow. Also remember, reject a scarcity mentality, only you have your distinct voice to offer and there is room for you In the big world wide web.
“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection...as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, 'Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.'" —Henri J.M. Nouwen
The fear of rejection can hold us back. We fear no connections or not having our attempts reciprocated. We worry that maybe we really don't have anything to offer. This is a fallacy and it all comes from within.
First of all, silence these negative inner voices. What is the probability that no one will talk to you? Very slim. Also, treat yourself like you would a friend in a similar situation, by reminding yourself of all you have to offer and how valuable you are. You got this!
Secondly, my experience is that Blissdom goes out of its way to help people feel connected. They have systems in place so that people don't feel left out with the ever circulating community leaders. There are also opportunities to get involved even before the conference starts, through location meet ups, twitter chats, discussions on the facebook page, etc. You will meet others who want to connect and might even share your apprehension. Knowing this should pose a call to action for you—be mindful of this and get out there and get to know them!
So, as you get ready to attend the conference, know that the unknown will quickly be known, the comparisons don't matter, and rejection is unlikely.
“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.” —Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
So let's not lose a second at the conference on boredom, but instead embrace the bliss!
Check out Networking and Women: Why It's So Much More Challenging for more on how to utilize the conference.
Having conference jitters or have some advice to share? I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or visit me at my facebook page.
For more articles, tips, and tricks to help you get organized and make the most of your blog and business visit our BlissDom Canada 2014: How Do You Find Your Bliss? page.
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