Who knows? Who cares?
You do. Few others in the room will be aware of your panic. How to get past it? Recall someone you may have admired or envied for their self-confidence, perhaps someone you’ve seen ‘own the room’ at a business meeting or networking event—you’re probably thinking they don’t feel the same degree of nerves. That’s probably not the case—looking self-possessed doesn’t mean they feel it. However, sometimes just looking like they are relaxed is its own reward.
So next time, don’t be awkward. Visualize success, says the Networking Toolkit for Success. Instead of focusing on your lack of confidence think of someone you know and admire who is an excellent networker. Think of what they do and how they do it. Every night for two weeks before the event, visualize yourself doing those things; feeling confident, smiling, meeting strangers, shaking hands, making introductions and opening conversations. When the time comes, remember your visualization and proceed with confidence—visualize success and then do it. Over time, it becomes second nature. It works. Try it next time.
“Let me know,” says Susan, “how it works for you. If you’d like to role play or try a few practice visualizations—tell me. Happy to help!”