As part of my new found blogging career one of the things I am really having to focus on is confidence.
I’ve started to attend events which is fantastic, but often walking into a room of people who all know each other can be really daunting!
All the thoughts go through your mind – what will they think of me, will anyone talk to me, will they think I’m a fraud?
It’s scary, but it’s one of those things where the benefits can outweigh the initial nerve-racking minutes!
I attended an event a few months ago, run by the lovely Sunita, a Lucky Things meet up. It was a fantastic and inspiring event, I met so many bloggers that I may not have usually met and it gave me new friendships, insight into the blogging world that I didn’t have before and a better connection with some of the people I chat to regularly online. I’m so glad I went!
Hi, I’m Sarah…
The second event where I took myself out of my comfort zone was attending a press event recently. Again I was on my own and the people and brands there were ones I hadn’t met before. I decided to get chatting and chat to anyone that was near me (as walking round a room on your own is fairly boring). I was nervous introducing myself, but it was so good to speak to new people and there were some really interesting stories and characters.
But as I jumped on the tube home I got a pang of worry, you know when you look back at something you’ve done and worry? I thought about the conversations I had and all was absolutely fine apart from one tiny little detail, the way I had talked about myself.
I didn’t really think about it at the time, I was nervous and just talking but when I re-ran the conversations my logical and business head wondered what on earth I was saying!
To give you an idea of some of the things I said…
- Oh I’m only a new blogger
- You probably haven’t heard of me
- I’m quite a small blogger
Why did I say these things? Confidence. Confidence in myself and my abilities.
As I sat on the tube writing this, it occurred to me that it really didn’t matter that I’m a new blogger, everyone has to start somewhere, right? I’m pretty sure all the big bloggers had a few thousand monthly views at some point. I might be a small blogger, but I work hard and I have a really lovely community, that still makes me important to some. Finally, and the one that really annoyed me, was ‘you probably haven’t heard of me’ well they have now and what I really should have said was ‘Hi, I’m Sarah and this is what I do’.
I’ve noticed over the years I’m very good at telling people when they do something amazing, but not very good at either taking a compliment or talking about myself in a positive way.
I’ve noticed it from others (women mainly) as well. When we’re told how wonderful something we’ve done is or how great we look, we often don’t say thanks – we almost apologise for the fact we’ve done something well.
Why do I do this? Confidence. Confidence in myself and my abilities.
As you can see there is a real trend here, my confidence in myself is something that changes not only the way I talk about myself, but the way I feel about going to events that I should be really excited about.
I know that I am not alone, when you tell close friends this, often the response shocks me – they are also nervous about attending work trips or events, even though they seem like the most confident of people.
As with everything on my blogging journey, I’m learning as I go and this for me was a big learning curve. I might have cracked the confidence to go to events on my own but I also need to find the confidence in myself and what I do and to give myself a pat on the back and congratulate myself when something I have worked hard on does well.
It certainly doesn’t mean I am over confident, far from it, but we should celebrate our achievements more as I can guarantee other people will with theirs.
My top tips
If you’re starting out and you are going to go to events here are my top tips:
- Find out if anyone you know, even through chatting on Twitter or Instagram are going to an event you are. Organise to meet them beforehand. They might also be in the same boat and will be pleased for the company.
- When you go to an event, don’t be scared to talk to people – you never know what you might learn and who you might meet. Not everyone will become your best friend, but without putting yourself out there and saying hello, you’ll never know!
- Be confident, you might be talking to someone who really wants to work with you in the future.
- I truly believe that a lot of opportunities in life come through friendships and meeting new people. If we don’t get out there, how will we know what there is waiting for us, so treat these things as an exciting opportunity.
I’ll be reading these tips and reminding myself of them at the next event I go to.