When we moved to our current town, I was convinced a few ladies I truly wanted to get to know didn’t like me. After a few months, I discovered they were perfectly willing to get to know me when I didn’t give up, and I consider them close friends now. Looking back I can see the things I saw that pushed me away were for totally different reasons than I thought.
But we can’t read each others minds. (Or if you’ve got that super power, don’t stand next to me unless you’d like to immediately crave a cup of coffee I’m probably either drinking or thinking about grabbing.)
Fast forward to the business event I attended last week. I had one of those trippy experiences. A gal told me one night that she really got the impression I didn’t like her when we met. I was quiet and standoffish because I’d been following her online and was intimidated by how amazing and super confident she was. I’m thinking, “You’re so cool!” and she’s thinking, “Michelle doesn’t like me at all.” Wow did I come across wrong!
It’s funny how that can work, isn’t it? While I’d felt that vibe from others, I never realized I was giving it off myself.
So, what’s the point? Why would I share this embarrassing confession?
1. Do someone a favor and be honest with them.
I am so glad she felt comfortable enough (after we got to know each other a bit more) that she told me how I’d come across when we met.
Between you, me, and… well, the world since I’m blogging it… A week ago I wouldn’t have been able to handle that kind of honest feedback. But one thing that kept hitting me throughout the week was that I need to get real with myself about what my problems are and what’s holding me back.
I had been reminded about a hundred times that I need to respond instead of react so I got a good chance to practice that. Instead of being offended and defending my behavior (wrong!) I acknowledged that regardless of my intentions, I have to do better than that.
2. My justifications and excuses are irrelevant and I’m letting them hold me back.
It doesn’t matter why the heck I came across poorly. There are always excuses (I was scared, exhausted, intimidated, I’m a shy person, etc.) but that doesn’t matter. What matters is fixing it. Because I’m letting who I’ve been stop me from becoming who I could be.
3. We often don’t see our real problems — or our real talents.
It’s easy to get so close to ourselves and our businesses that we see X as the problem when really it’s Y.
I tend to keep going after more information, more training, more learning and skills. But the truth is I already have a great knowledge base around blogging, websites, and the technical side of running an online business.
My real problems? I have a big confidence problem, and a discipline problem… I also had a “big picture” problem.
Identify what’s holding you back and then it can be fixed. I contacted a networking coach immediately, before I lost my nerve or wrote it off as something minor. It’s not. I’m actually quite mortified because I’d never intend to give off that vibe.
So how about you?
If you’re a natural extrovert you might be just shaking your head here. But introverts, I think you’ll get it.
Have you had to work through any similar challenges?
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