Posted on March 19, 2010. Filed under: Books, Branding, Business, Career, Field Guides, Life, Network, Pocket-Books, Recruitment, Self-Help, Social Skills |

Scared rabbits – they freeze up like a still life when feeling their most vulnerable, or they scamper off to a safe corner to escape what they perceive to be an imminent threat.  When faced with the idea of attending a networking function, be it a small gathering or a large convention, many people exhibit the appearance of sacred rabbits.  I am here to tell you that everyone has felt like a scared rabbit on one occasion or another.  Be it the celebrity caught in the scrutinizing spotlight of public opinion when dealing with marital indiscretions, or the person who is new to the group and  needs to make friends.  We are all capable of owning the feeling of fear of rejection, and we are all capable of overcoming this fear.

Here are few tips to banish your scared rabbit back down into its hole, so you can connect to the people you need to know to succeed.  My first tip is simple: BREATHE.  Yes, that’s right.  Remember to breathe.  It is this simple but often forgotten step that trips you up the most when you are facing your fears.  Heavy breathing affects your posture, your body temperature, your composure, and even your ability to speak clearly and confidently.  Not breathing is even worse.  I doubt you would like to be the person who caught everyone’s attention by fainting due to lack of oxygen to your brain.

Breathe better and you will come across better.  When you find that your nerves are getting the best of you and your breathing is labored, find a way to remove yourself from the situation for a moment.  Once you have found a quiet corner, a restroom stall, or a space out on the sidewalk, start by taking a slow deep breath.  If your heart is still racing, try exhaling all the air out of your lungs first, and then breathing in slowing to fill your lungs.  In no time, you should feel yourself calming down.

What do you do if your anxiety seems too determined to let go of its hold on you?  Or, your heart feels like it’s about to pop out of your chest? Fear not!  In this case, try to mentally stop your heart.  By mentally concentrating on stopping your heart (which you cannot truly do), your heart will automatically begin to slow down, and your breathing will become more regular.  As your breathing becomes more regular, you will begin to relax.

Ahh.  Feels good, doesn’t it!  Once you are breathing normally, you will have learned two things about yourself.  One, you now have the power to take charge of the effect that your fear has on your breathing.  Two, how nice it feels to breathe normally.  This latter point is important, because people who are self-confident tend to exhibit regular breathing.  This simple and basic step is an easy building block to gaining more networking self-confidence.  By managing the pace of your breathing, without even knowing it, you have given yourself a pat on the back and are ready to go.

I hope this will help you.  More  to come next week.  In the meantime, be well, be confident, and be yourself.  You are enough.

© Kathy Corday and The Networking Field Guide™, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kathy Corday and The Networking Field Guide ™ with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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