Social Question

aprilsimnel's avatar

Can you share your insights on counteracting faulty beliefs that hinder networking?

Asked by aprilsimnel (30605 points ) March 1st, 2010

I have been horrible at networking. Tonight there is a meetup in Manhattan of film folk, and I’m scared to go. I have told myself, “Yes, you are going to that Shooting People film networking meet up tonight and no excuses!” and I’m terrified I’ll make a fool of myself and have nothing to offer the people I’d meet there.

When I’ve met people for career-related things, I haven’t followed through with contacting them because I’d told myself they didn’t really like me. I must have interacted with over 1000 people in my working life, and didn’t keep in touch with almost all of them; I told myself that they were great people and I was a fraud, so I need to leave these decent people alone and not bother them. I burnt bridges with past employers because I saw them as authority, and subconsciously, “authority” to me was my childhood guardian, a very mentally unwell and very resentful woman.

My current counselor is working with me on dispelling the lies I accepted about myself in childhood about how I was a selfish, self-centered user. She’s trying to get me to see that I have a lot to offer people in return. I’m sure my self-perceptions are making my job search for more advanced TV and film production positions/starting my own production company in the meantime much, much harder than they should be.

How did you summon up the courage to be an advocate for yourself in a way where you did not use other people, or put others on such high pedestals that you were afraid of asking for anything?

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12 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

You know that I have felt that way about myself, personally. But I don’t feel that way professionally. That’s because I separate my professional self from my personal self. I can ask for anything for my professional self. I can market my professional self just like a product.

I guess that’s because I don’t identify with my work. It’s not really me. It’s just what I do to make money. Job networking and business networking—anything to do with money—are all separated from myself and put into another pseudo wundayatta entity that makes money.

Of course, when it comes to asking for things for myself, I’m a total wuss.

marinelife's avatar

Think about how you would react if someone who had met you at a networking event contacted you.

Would you be resentful?:

Would you think, “Oh, this person is such a phony?”

I don’t think so.

Remind yourself that meeting people is why people go to these things.

Have you tried writing? Write down your thoughts that you tell yourself. Then put the lie to them. Say aloud, “That is a lie.” Then turn the negative thought into a positive one:

“I’d told myself they didn’t really like me.” Everyone I meet likes me fine as a person.

“I told myself that they were great people and I was a fraud” I am a genuine person with skills in this area.

You must say them aloud. Do not construct them with not in the positive affirmation, because our brains don’t hear not.

Just_Justine's avatar

Perhaps start off on the footing and firm belief that both of you or all of you are there for a reason. You all need each other. Every person has some negative belief system going on about themselves, or they are working on that false belief. People are not all great and confident, some of us are just starting the road, some are half way along.

Most of all understand that networking is a win win situation. I would be as pleased to see you as you would to see me.

I always network but in a very natural manner. Meaning getting to know a bit about the person. Chatting about their interests, kids and finding things we share in common. It is those things we find in common that binds us together. Even if it is a simple networking affair. Some of the people you meet will just be ladders to your further success. Some will become great friends. When you start this process it is always scary for all of us. Just smile a lot! when you see how people do accept you and you do progress from this you will gather more confidence. Not all growing processes are comfortable, I call them “growth pains”.

davidbetterman's avatar

So long as Chuck is back and the Olympics are over, I will discontinue faulting the networks for their lousy programming…

Judi's avatar

The big secret is MOST of us have those moments wen we fear all our insecurities will surface. I don’t know what you do, but you are obviously in the film industry somehow.. Maybe you could take an acting class to get through these things. I use my acting training in business all the time. I just take a deep breath and say, “It’s Showtime!”

CMaz's avatar

“When I’ve met people for career related things,”

I do hate those type of get togethers. Leave your insecurity at the door. Believe in yourself even (in these situations) if you have to go as far as selling yourself.

You are #1 and NO ONE else matters. Be yourself (minus the insecurity) and do not take the experience home with you. As in re-hashing what you could have done better.
Sometimes you just have to say, fuck it.

People will be drawn to your qualities. Otherwise it is their loss.

nebule's avatar

GQ… i need the answer ot this too! xx

janbb's avatar

One thing a dear friend who was a very succesful professional told me is that she often had to consciously leave her child self behind when she made a presentation or sales call. She would talk to little Kate and tell her she was leaving her behind for a while and would come back to her. Don’t know if that would help you at all, be she was a very damaged child and a very successful adult, so it’s a thought.

nebule's avatar

GA jbb xx

janbb's avatar

@lynneblundell I’ll be sure to share that with little Jan.

Cruiser's avatar

You seem to talk to us strangers here quite comfortably so I would think you can find your own way to talk to these other strangers at this film networking event. Just go…you don’t need to be Roger Ebert to mingle…just observe and just like here on Fluther before you know it you will know all sorts of people there! Have fun…you will be glad you went.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I read that Ebert article from the recent Esquire. I cried because I was so proud, and not only do I not know him, he’s old enough to be my dad.

I went to the event. I was all right. People were people. We’ll see what develops.

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