In part one, I talked about the fear many people have around networking events and shared three tips to help increase your confidence. Changing your perspective around networking to build your confidence, making sure you were prepared when going to networking events and practicing what you were going to say when you were there.
Today I want to share seven steps to help elevate your confidence so that you can kick the networking demon to the curb and make networking your new best friend.
1. Determine your value-added qualities. The very first thing to developing confidence is to understand for yourself why you deserve to be confident. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What are your strengths?
Why would someone be really lucky to know you?
What makes you special?
Brainstorm all of your positive qualities and do not stop until you have a minimum of 20!
2. Face your fears and identify your confidence zappers. Do you really know what you are afraid of and why you lack confidence? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
Where do you feel you fall short?
Are you afraid that you might say something you will regret?
Do you feel people will laugh at you?
3. Now imagine your worst-case scenarios. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What are the consequences if they come true?
Will the sky fall on your head?
What if your biggest fears became realities?
Let your imagination run free as you take every fear and confidence zapper and play them out in your mind.
Now ask yourself, how likely are these worst-case scenarios to happen?
4. Do something and fix it or accept it. Now that you have identified what is holding you back you need to get out of your own way so you can go out and build your ultimate network
Go back to your confidence zapper list and decide if you can fix what is on the list and if not, then how can you accept it and move forward.
5. Please stop apologizing.
Continually apologizing for your shortcomings is one of the best ways to sabotage your confidence because it keeps you from focusing on your strengths. Start to catch yourself when you are in negative self-talk. For every negative thought you have counter it with one or two positive ones.
6. You have to take your eyes off yourself. When you take your eyes off yourself, you will likely feel less self-conscious. You will begin to see opportunities and relationships that might be staring you in the face!
Come from the position that selling is serving. Think what you can do to help others and pay it forward. Take a genuine interest in others.
7. Go out and make it happen. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can feel uncomfortable in the beginning. You do not have to start out with something huge, give yourself mini-challenges to begin with. Work your way up to the top edge of your comfort zone. On the way, dress the part, stand up straight, put a huge smile on your face, go out, and make it happen! Talking about networking and actually networking are two different things!
If you are not meeting enough new people and building relationships, you are not going to grow your network. One thing I know for sure is that no one ever goes out of business because they have too many new people to talk to!
To your success!