DECEMBER 22, 2021
I have a confession to make: I was not good at connecting with new people.
I know. I seem to be very outgoing and extroverted. I write passionately in my blog posts. I speak very well in my videos and reels. And I have written a good book. You might deduce that I am easy-going and converse with others very well. The reality is, my conversation would be very well only with the people I knew and with my camera and keyboard.
When it came to talking to people I did not know and reaching out to form a connection; I would back out and try to delay it as much as possible. There was definitely something stopping me from going out there and talking to new people.
I just did not know what it was. Whether I had to call someone new or DM someone on Twitter, I would start typing. Then it would seem that suddenly, my creative soul and the word wizard within me has gone to heaven, and I am all alone, stuck here on Earth trying to figure out how do I start a conversation with this person?
Will I sound good enough? Will I form an impact? Will I come across as too superficial or transactional? Will my message be perceived as too cheesy? What would the other person think about me when they read this message? These questions would pop up in my mind and confuse me even further! I would write a sentence, delete it. Write again and move on through this whole array of doubts until I finally hit enter and send that DM or email.
Sometimes, it would take me a whole hour just to DM someone or email someone for something. And I am the person who’s written 12000 words in a single day, and I have written 1000 words in 20 minutes! So taking an hour just to write an email or DM while reaching out to someone was shockingly slow!
I could not continue this way. Something had to change. All of my career and work is based on and around people and creating impact. I had to start connecting with people and get over this hesitation.
I reflected. I learned. And today, here I am, actively connecting with people and not facing any barriers in communication. I am actively taking part in conversations on social audio platforms, particularly Twitter Spaces, and just last night, I DM’d three people in just 10 minutes and had a long chat with one person on farming! That’s a big change, and now, I will share with you how you can do that too!
I can give you all the tips and tricks to communicate and network better. While they are essential to grow and connect with people, they are like the shoot and stem of a tree. That’s what shows us the real growth that is happening.
But how will those shoots grow if there are no strong roots? It is the same with becoming outgoing and a conversation starter. Until and unless you don’t clarify the problems in the roots, the shoots won’t grow no matter how hard you try.
Let’s sort out the root today!
When I finally started thinking this way, the solution began to ignite in my mind. I was trying to understand these communication and networking tips, but something would still hold me back from acting on those tips entirely and growing. That “something” was the root cause of the hesitation.
What is that “something”?
Don’t run away now! We aren’t getting into some complex medical words that will boggle our minds. This term sounds fancy, but we all have been through it.
In simple words, Imposter Syndrome means doubting your skills, talents, or accomplishments. And you have to agree, we all have been through this. At some point in our lives, we have thought, “You know, maybe I am not worthy enough. Maybe the other person doesn’t even value me. What have I ever done to deserve this?”
I went through that—a LOT.
And that was the biggest reason I hesitated from communicating with people. I felt and thought, “What will this person think of me? What if they don’t find me worthy enough? What if they just ignore my mail or message? I am just 15. Who cares about what I have written?” When these doubts would come up in my mind, I would naturally step back from writing that message. I would wonder about all the negative things the other person would think of me, and I thought I would leave a wrong impression.
And if you are going through the same, I feel you. I know, and I understand how all those negative thoughts feel. It is time to cut them all out and build stronger roots!
Here’s a simple exercise: Think of all you have done until now. What are your achievements? What are your failures? And what do you aspire to do? Reflect on these questions and answer them with complete honesty. No one is looking at you. No one is judging you. It is just you and your pen or keyboard. Express yourself all out.
Now, imagine yourself a few months or a few years ago. Were you the same as you are today? No. You have progressed and grown a lot. And all you have to do is share your knowledge and experiences with the people who are at the level you were at sometime back. For those people, you would be a great person to be and talk with.
And when you do that, your doubts about your achievements start fading away. You realize that you indeed have done something remarkable even though you do have a long way to go.
Ta-da! You have successfully buried your imposter syndrome away! You now know that you are capable and that your achievements matter. Now, you may be wondering, “How does this help me connect with people who are ahead of me?”
And that’s a valid question we’ll be working on now. When you share your accomplishments and achievements publicly, online or offline, and help people a few levels behind you to rise and grow, you are making an impact. You are putting yourself out there and being vulnerable, which shows that you are a genuine person.
With that, when you connect with someone who is ahead of you, they just don’t see vague information about you. They see who you are and all that you’ve done. And that gives them an idea of who you are.
And when you leave a message that is authentic, from the heart, and has a specific topic/discussion point, you are very likely to get noticed, get a reply, and start a connection. Now you are aware of who you are, and thus, you don’t care about what the other person is thinking about you. You don’t seek external validation anymore. You pick up a common point of interest within both of you and start a conversation through that.
That’s how I feel now. I connect with people over social audio platforms and speak to them live. I share myself openly and am vulnerable and authentic. I don’t care about their opinions about me. I talk, and if I feel a good connection, I DM or email them and start by talking about something that’s a common point of interest or appreciating them for something specific. That’s all I do, and I have started building some great relationships!
When you work on the root, the shoot grows. For me, it has definitely worked out that way, and I know it will work out for you too! Start now. Get over your imposter syndrome. Put yourself out there, and you will start connecting with some incredible people!
Let’s begin now! Reflect on your accomplishments and introduce yourself in the comments of this blog post! You never know who you’ll connect with here!
Partnering in your success, happiness, and growth,