1. Be someone else. When people wear masks they become uninhibited and do things they would never otherwise do. No, don’t show up at your next photo-shoot wearing a mask, that would be creepy. But you can wear a mask psychologically, by imagining yourself as a powerful and famous character. You will be surprised st the confident mindset this can put you in!
2. Fake it until you make it. I had this printed out at my desk for two years. Just keep doing it and social interaction will become more comfortable and natural. The more you socialize, the easier it will get.
3. Listen to a song that makes you feel strong. Music works wonders for soothing our emotions, and singing loudly is a great stress reliever, so on the way to your next networking event belt out a song or two, it will make you feel better.
4. Use this as a mantra it totally changed my life: ” If you are depressed you are living in the past, If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” -Lao Tzu All of my social anxiety is simply worrying about what could/should/would happen. Remembering these words of wisdom keeps me grounded, and living in the present which allows me to enjoy the moment.
5. STOP making excuses to cancel your plans!! Just suck it up and get it done, this falls back to faking it until you make it, you’ll never gain the confidence and self-assurance without actually practicing social behavior.
6. Workout regularly. When I am doing my regular workouts, and getting a good sweat on, it is a wonder what it does to alleviate my anxiety. It also makes me carry myself a little surer. Working out is a definite confidence booster that will also give you plenty of extra energy for even more networking.
I’m not so sure if an introvert can ever become extroverted, but networking is a nessecery “evil” I have had to accept into my life, and it is surprising how much I can come out of my shell when it is expected of me. Daily practice and the above tips have made a huge difference in my business practices, and my life.
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