Fear is commonly interpreted as negative and uncomfortable. It can be. But it doesn’t have to be. Facing that fear may be just what is necessary to grow and to learn. Some fear and nerves are good. Physically, they keep the body and mind alert. There are nerves when we care deeply about something or someone.There’s “skin in the game” and the stakes are high. Fear brings about a call to action and puts us into achievement mode. It’s good to feel it, experience it and then take the lead in controlling it.
But how to keep those fears from overtaking us is another story. We need to get in touch with our thoughts so they don’t overtake us and gain control of our breathing/heart rate. Nerves can set the body and mind into a tailspin to where there is no way back if uncontrolled. Positive thought repetitions work very well. Adopt a mantra like “I believe in myself” or “I can do this.” A mantra when repeated can remove the mind chatter. Next time you hear your mind speaking negative thoughts, replace them with a good mantra.
Here are a few by Tony Robbins, Life Coach. Go!
Whether it is your first conference or your twenty first, there is a level of excitement and anticipation of the big event. Who will I meet? What new gems will help build my skill sets?
Learning from the process along the way builds strong, deep character. The people we meet and how we present ourselves and our work is game changing. So it’s good to have a plan for each conference. The plan doesn’t need to be anything formal. Just some forethought.
It might take a few readings of materials to understand the flow of the conference day/s. If the selection of workshops or sessions is intricate, print the options in order to read through everything thoroughly and highlight or underline interests and choices. It helps to have a first choice and a back up choice. Learn the rules to know if it is acceptable to move between sessions during session time.
Plan your information management ahead of time. Decide how you’re taking notes. Whether it is recording notes in a notebook, laptop, tablet or phone. Often handouts are given and it can be helpful to take notes on the handouts or take a picture of the handout with a smart phone for use later.
If there are people you know you would like to meet, make a list of them. If you are going to their sessions, you’ll know who to look for later. If you’re not, you might need the assistance of a conference volunteer to point them out to you.
Have an exit strategy. There will be many people to talk to and it is important to maximize time. Whether it is “Excuse me I need to find the rest room” or “Excuse me I need to locate a person I’ve been wanting to introduce myself to,” all of these help the day run a little smoother and help accomplish goals.
Wear comfortable, but professional clothing and shoes. Dress in layers. Conferences often have issues with heat and cooling so it helps to have options.
Your conference experience is what you make of it. Approach conferences with an open mind and a willingness to learn and you never know what possibilities will open up.