BlogWorld 2011 LA #BWELA
Last night I drove home both energized and tired after an amazing three days at BlogWorld 2011 #BWELA. It was the first time I’d attended and I loved every minute. It’s like ComicCon for a different breed of nerds and geeks – in other words, I felt very much at home there. And yes, I really have attended ComicCon…
Rather than trying to cram all of the experiences and lessons learned into one post, I’m going to break it up into different segments. Since I’ve often talked about “getting out of your comfort zone” Let’s start there. My “about page” says that I’m an “introverted extrovert” and BlogWorld is the perfect example to illustrate what I mean by that. I love people, I love hearing their stories and making new friends. I am NOT comfortable walking up to complete strangers and introducing myself. My comfort zone isn’t even in sight in this situation. Once we get past the introduction though, everyone feels like an old friend.
A couple of days before I left for BlogWorld I signed on to Google+ to see who was posting about it. I found something by Chris Brogan, someone I admire greatly for their authenticity, genuine kindness and sound advice. He posed a very simple question – “Are you going to BlogWorld LA? What are your goals?” I immediately started typing my reply and as I was finishing I suddenly got this overwhelming feeling of dread – Why? Those little whispering voices I thought I had assassinated long ago started chattering – “he has no clue who you are, why are you answering?” I try to ignore the thought. “That’s a lame answer”, they taunted. “Screw you” I thought as I started to hit the enter key – then stopped – then tried again. Finally, my stronger sense of self kicked in and I replied. A bit later I received a notification that he replied back! Take that little voices!
His reply truly became my mantra for the conference “be bold. Say hi. Connect. You’ll find people who love you. : )” I can’t tell you how many times I repeated this in my head when I was feeling awkward about meeting someone or introducing myself. It did make a difference in getting past being uncomfortable and just connecting. The best part was that as I was on my way to one of the sessions, I spotted Chris who seemed to be hurrying off to something else. I put his advice into action and stopped him long enough to thank him for his reply and let him know that it had become my mantra for the conference. I held on to this mindset throughout the conference and met so many amazing people – some of whom I will be introducing to you in the following days.
Lessons Learned: Advice is useless unless you put it into practice. Ignore the negative mind chatter, it doesn’t serve you. You never know how much your words will touch someone else.
What’s your favorite tip for moving forward when you’re feeling uncomfortable?by