Following on from my post two weeks ago, I thought I would take another look at networking and specifically the associated fear and how you cope with it.
THE SCENARIO - YOU'RE AT THE LONDON SCREENWRITERS FESTIVAL AND A TV PRODUCER YOU WANT TO CONNECT WITH IS STANDING JUST A FEW FEET AWAY.
(A) HOW YOU WOULD LIKE IT TO GO:
You stride over with confidence and a smile, say hello, introduce yourself, tell them you loved the last thing they produced and then ask them what they are working on. Ten minutes later you're laughing and joking and talking about your shared TV/FILM likes and swapping business cards. "Send me something," they say to you and you promise to keep in touch.
You want to go and talk to them but you don't know what to say. Your palms are sweaty. Your mouth is dry. You stare at them. They spot you staring at them and are a little bit freaked out by it. But you can't help yourself and continue to stare at them with an air of desperation. It's now or never, but your legs just won't work, let alone your voice. Your hesitation stretches from seconds to minutes and then when you finally decide to make your move someone else beats you to it. You go home beating yourself up, because it was an opportunity missed, even if you are secretly relieved.
Why does it have to be (B)? Why can't it turn out like (A)? The thing is it can.
I'm not going to write a three-hundred-page post about how you can get rid of your fear and become the most confident person in the world, I'm no self-help guru, I'm simply going to explain three truths about fear instead.
1 - Fear is a good thing. It prevents you from behaving like a twunt.
2 - Everyone feels fear, even the producer you're staring at. He's there to meet writers like you and is currently wondering why you haven't come over and introduced yourself.
3 - The majority of fear we experience is utterly wasted.
The last one is so simple and yet the one most people (including myself) overlook. I came across a great video on Facebook a few days ago that sums up number 3. You can find the link to it HERE! It perfectly illustrates how and why we spend far too much time worrying about stuff rather than just getting on with it.
Feel fear when you need to, not when you don't. Then when you do feel the fear, use it and go and do the thing that scares you anyway.
Jump in! Be awesome!