One of my biggest setbacks as an artist is my inability to ask people for help. I believe that this has been one of the main roadblocks that's constantly standing in my way. I’m not sure if it is a pride issue or a fear of rejection or maybe because I just want to do everything on my own. It could be an amalgamation of all things. Whatever the reasoning may be, it's not helpful. I can’t do everything on my own. I do need help. But why is it so hard to ask?
Nerves and anxiety play a big role in my hesitation in asking for help. What if they say no? What if I look stupid asking? The What If’s are enormous and pointless and crazy and stupid and now I’m just running this sentence on and on and on. Ok I’m done. But really, dude. No one thinks like that. And if they do, they’re not a good person and who cares about them anyway? So how can I help myself and people like me get over this? I’ve devised a little plan of attack.
Call out your Nerves
Nerves and anxiety are the pesky little things surrounding potentially stressful situations. Sometimes these nerves are detrimental and can stop us from doing things, but sometimes they are a great little motivator. It’s always important to remember that nerves are a proper response from the body because of a situation. When I remind myself of this before asking for help, I'm reminded that I'm supposed to feel nervous and that's totally cool. Address them and move on.
What's the worst that can happen?
They say no. We’ve all heard this a million times right? Is there a fear of hearing the word no? I almost think it’s a fear of looking pathetic or weak in front of another individual. Especially an individual you look up to. But let's turn this situation around for a second. How do you feel when someone asks you for help? I don't know about you, but usually I'm totally willing to help and interested in offering what I have to offer. I've never looked at a person asking for help as an idiot. Usually I'm more impressed by their ability to ask for help (and maybe a little jealous of it) and totally motivated to help in whatever way possible.
You're Not A SuperhEro
Unless you are. In which case you should stop reading this and go back to fighting crime. I’m talking to you Batman! For the rest of us (muggles) it’s important to remember that we don’t necessarily have the power to do everything we want to do every time we want to do it. That’s just reality. So why not get some help?
If Money Is An Option...
Then pay someone to help you dummy. If money isn’t an option….then you gotta ask. That’s it.
How do I make a change? It’s a good question. I feel like the only real option is to practice. Just like riding a bike or playing an instrument it seems that the only way for a person who's not innately gifted at asking for help is to practice it. The first thing I'm going to do is practice asking for help out loud (alone in my room like a loser) before I actually do it. My intent is to say it enough that it will feel less weird when I actually do it. The second thing I'm going to do is to force myself over the next few months to ask for help when I need it. Even if I don't want to. Even if it causes me a little emotional distress. And then in a few weeks we will see how I feel.
If you read this and need my help for something, don’t be afraid to ask by e-mailing me at email@example.com
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For most people networking events are a point of dread. The thought of “mingling” terrifies so many that often it can lead to all kinds of anxieties or just complete avoidance. I know often times when I have gone to networking events I have to talk myself into talking with strangers, I have to have at least one drink (probably 2 to 3) and if someone I know is there I will cling to them the entire time. Needless to say, my experiences at networking events haven’t been fruitful to my brand or my business.
So for this post, I created a gameplan for myself at these events to help people like me nail a networking event. It's like a coach's playbook to leave fulfilled and proud of myself with maybe a new contact or five or ten!
Let’s be real here. Social lubricant works. It’s legit. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about another name for it would be alcohol. By nature, alcohol relaxes people and lifts their filter. So a quieter person might be able to be more talkative under the influence. This is why alcohol exists. It helps us let go. And while it is not necessary at networking events it certainly can be a big help. If you’re nervous grab a drink at the bar have a few sips to let the edge off and then nurse the rest. Never have more than 2-3 drinks at these things. You don’t want to be that drunk person and you definitely don't want to get sloppy in front of potential connections. A good tip is if you’ve been stuck in a conversation for too long finish your drink and say you’re going to grab another one.
Walking The Walk
Dress for success peeps. Don’t go too far. No suits, but look good. Look successful. That’s part of the play. Get your ass in gear. Go into your wardrobe and make yourself look presentable. Because there may be people at the event who you actually want to associate with, work with, sell to, buy from in the future. Don’t be a slob.
Talking The Talk
I have trouble at these events because it feels like everyone is lying about what they do. And then I think “Do I need to lie too?” “How come everyone here is so much more successful than me? I’m gonna nurse this drink and go home.” First of all, most people are lying. It helps them feel better. Second, who cares if they're successful. Talk to them, be nice to them and maybe the will want to help you. It’s as easy as that. There is no need to lie, but I tend to think networking places can be a place to dress up your successes. This means, don’t focus on the negative parts of your career, what’s not happening or what you’re waiting for etc. But rather focus on those things that have gone right and make them sound good. Why not? Everyone else is doing it. And it’s true! As unsettled as you may feel in your career there is no reason to project that onto everyone else.
Just say "Hey". Literally, so many people are nervous at these events. But just lie and tell yourself you’re brave and walk up and say hello to somebody. Ask them what they do. And if it’s boring say you have to pee. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.
Bring a Business Card
Take your business card. So you can give it to people. So they know how to find you. This one’s simple. Just do it.
Move It Or Lose It!
Don’t spend too long talking to just one person. Five to ten minutes tops. Get to know them, what they do, how can you help them...blah, blah, blah. Exchange cards and move on!
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