"You're asking a silly question". "Those images are rubbish". "You haven't a clue what you are doing and may as well just go back to your day job".
We all have an inner critic that can bombard us with a negative narrative of judgments, comparisons. If we listen to it long enough we can start to believe it for ourselves. Before we know it we are starting to hold back and not take risks in areas important to us in life. The e-mail that you are excited but also anxious about sending in fear of rejection continues to sit in your draft mail. The bottom line is we become unhappy, stressed and depressed smaller versions of our true, confident authentic self.
The GOOD NEWS is that we are not alone in this. As human beings at a fundamental level we really just want to be seen and heard as our authentic self. I have worked as a CBT Therapist and trained in various other contemporary CBT models over the years including Functional Analytical Psychotherapy (FAP) Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). My work locations varied from The Priory Hospital to the NHS, Academia and now which feels like my work home at trending-living. I feel so honoured and touched that my career choice has also enriched my ability to learn from local and international leaders in these fields which helps to maximises my clinical skills and quality of work exponentially.
1) AWARENESS & OPENNESS SKILLS ACTIVATION - Notice any initial judgement or critical based thoughts (self/other) and let them go keeping an open mind to the interaction itself.
2) SEEING THE PERSON IN FRONT OF YOU - Take a mindful breath to settle into the interaction whilst also using the time to really see the person in front of you. Remind yourself that they are another fallible human being with their negative internal narrative and hopes and dreams JUST LIKE YOU.
3) LET GO OF ANY EXPECTATIONS - Practice letting go of any expectations of how you or the other person "should be" or any fantasy of this amazing interaction you will have with this person. Stay present in the here and now and appreciate the interaction for what it is in the moment.
4) IF YOU DON'T MEAN IT THEN DON'T SAY IT - Think of a time when someone spoke to you and you felt that it wasn't genuine. The chances are you were right. When we communicate authentically our physiology changes, our heart opens and we soften into the interaction in the moment.
5) DRAW ON YOUR COURAGE - Check in with yourself and embrace what you would want to say or do in the moment if you were drawing on your courage in that very moment. The opportunity is yours. Take it.
6) SHARE THE GOODNESS - Think of how you can be of help to that person. Building business is important for ourselves but it is also just as important to be able to give to others. You are part of a common shared humanity business community. How cool!
So, whether you are off to a networking conference, webinar or sitting at home wondering how to get your business out there more, my recommendation is to give yourself that COMPASSIONATE PUSH and get yourself to the business next door, next village, or send that e-mail to get those interactions going. Embrace our 6 steps and even join a networking community like the Women's Inspire Network (men too :)) where these kind of interactions are available and support at the ready.
I am going to practice right in this moment and sign off with Namaste (my inner critic is going "wow, wow, wow, they will think you are a hippy not an evidenced based therapist). Namaste means for me that I see the divine (goodness) in me and I see the divine in you.