On a previous post, I wrote about the fact that many times, the things we never think about are the ones that could take us to the next level.
And one of the reasons why we avoid to think about those important things is because some of them scare us.
One of those things is taking those conversations, or sending that email that we know could be very uncomfortable, but deep down, we know it could take us to the next level.
It’s probable that the reason why we avoid that conversation is because we consider the other person to be in another “league” or we feel some kind of intimidation:
– Your boss, who has a thousand things to care about, and hates when someone is unclear in a conversation and makes him lose time. You are scared that you are not going to be clear and concise enough for the presentation you want to make to propose a new project for your company.
– That woman you admire, and you want her to become your mentor and give you advice for your new company. You are scared that your idea is not good enough and she is going to laugh at you. You are scared that you could disappoint your idol.
– The director of the publishing house who you want to present the draft of the book you are writing. You are scared he says your book is not good enough. You are scared to face the reality of the difficulty that implies publishing a book.
And that’s how thousands of ideas die each year: When we need to talk to someone who we think is out of our reach and we make the decision to quit. We decide that is not worth it to tempt fate. We decide that it’s impossible to reach and convince those people.
How to lose the fear to talk to people who intimidate you?
We are so intimidated by the fact of those people being “unreachable” that we don’t even try to contact them.
So, here are some things that could help us to overcome that fear:
1. The other person, no matter how “bulletproof” he might seem, also has vulnerabilities. Remember that sometimes clichés work. In this case, don’t forget that cliché that says that “Everyone is human, everyone has flaws and insecurities”.
Before you enter a place where you are going to meet with someone important (or someone that intimidates you), leave the fear in the door. Why having fear? We are talking with another person that has the same or even more insecurities than we have.
If we change our focus, and we start thinking in the vulnerabilities of the other person, we will stop seeing them as “unreachable” or “superhumans” and we will realize that they are exactly like us.
Now we will have a more balanced playing field.
2. Before a meeting or a call with that intimidating person, think about your super powers and create an ego boost for yourself. Think about something you are very, very, very good at, a super power you have. It doesn’t need to be anything related to the meeting or the call. It’s just to syntonize your mood and your mind reminding yourself how great you are.
If you scored a goal in the soccer game the day before the call, think about that. The idea is to bring to mind memories of something that acts as a counterweight for that fear you are feeling.
3. Write down 3 reasons why you are intimidated by that person. Sometimes, our mind tends to exaggerate the consequences of an action or a situation. But if we put those things into context, maybe we will see that we are overreacting.
Writing things down is the most effective way to put things into context, and putting things into context is an effective way to project and evaluate the real impact of a situation. If you make a list of three things why you are scared of talking to that person, you can break down the possible consequences of doing it, and have more clarity about the real impact and benefits of doing it.
You will see that the negative consequences are not going to be as bad as you thought, and the positive consequences can make the difference in your project or your life.
So, you have two options, writing to the publisher and try to get an appointment to pitch him about your book, or not calling him.
If you decide not to write him, nothing will happen, but you won’t get to the next level where you want to be.
If you decide to write him, there are two possible scenarios: that he answers the mail or that he doesn’t.
If he doesn’t answer, nothing about your current situation is going to change.
If he answers, there are two possible scenarios: That he agrees to meet with you, or that he doesn’t.
If he doesn’t agree, nothing about your current situation is going to change.
If he agrees, after you make the pitch there are two possible scenarios: That he agrees to publish your book, or that he doesn’t.
If he doesn’t agree, nothing about your current situation will change. Sure, maybe you’ll get depressed a couple of days because of the rejection, but your life will be pretty much the same as before the rejection.
If he agrees, you will be happy that you made the decision of writing to that guy…
As you see, most of the times there are no real catastrophic consequences after we face a rejection, and that’s what we need to be aware of when we are afraid of talking to someone.
At the end, there are only two possible outcomes, that the person says “yes” or “no”. If he says “yes” overcoming the fear will be worth it. If he says “no” overcoming the fear will be worth it too, because now you have the necessary tools to keep looking for mentors and to talk to any person you want…