Fear # 2
My fear of the unknown
Sales conferences, you either love them or hate them. In my case, I used to dread them when I first started in sales. They used to cause me so much worry and anxiety I don’t know how I made it through. When you start at a new company, the first few are always the most difficult. You don’t really know everyone, especially if you are a national company that has offices coast to coast. In the past, I used to fear so many things: Who will I have for a roommate? Who will I sit with for meals and how the heck am I going to make conversation? What team building activity will I be required to do?
Over the years, I have gotten much better at these events and learned to open up to people a lot more. This week, I was able to attend a 3 day conference for the company I have been working at for the past year and a half. I had a few of my normal jitters beforehand – fear of the unknown. Regardless of my jitters, I took the initiative and approached others and engaged them in conversation. I did not worry about where I would sit for meals. I approached a table, asked if I could sit with them and showed genuine interest in getting to know them. All in all, I had a lot of fun! I believe it has a lot to do with the company’s culture; the people are easy going, positive, and motivated.
The conference came at a good time; it allowed me to put some of what I have learned from the Dale Carnegie course into action. I have also been reading “How to Stop Worrying & Start Living by Dale Carnegie”, it has strongly influenced my way of thinking of late. The biggest fault I have is to worry about the past and the future, it stops me from focusing on the present. In his book, Carnegie writes about many famous figures throughout history. He touches on people from movie stars, to polticians and philosophers. Many of his writings have the same theme, focusing on TODAY and nothing else. According to Carnegie, Sir William Osler had a specific plan to keep worry out of his life: “Shut the iron doors on the past and the future.” As Carnegie puts it; to live in Day-tight Compartments. I must admit this is much easier said than done, especially after years of worrying mostly about the future. All those “What ifs” lined up in a row, taunting me. I have to continue to change my thinking, to try and wake up each day in a positive frame of mind and do my best for that day. Who would have thought that some of us need to be reminded to take things one day at a time?
Carnegie refers to a daily program in his book entitled “Just for Today” by Sibyl F. Partridge. Slowly and surely I am trying (there’s no trying in the Dale Carnegie course, just doing) instituting these principles, which seem as basic as being born (here’s that reminding again).
JUST FOR TODAY
- Just for today I will be happy.
- Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires.
- Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it etc….
- Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful.
- Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: do a good turn and not get found out: I will do two things I don’t want to do.
- Just for today I will be agreeable. Act courteously, praise others, no criticism.
- Just for today I will try to live through this day only, not to tackle my whole life problem at once.
- Just for today I will have a program. I will write down what I expect to do every hour.
- Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax.
- Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love, love me.
When was the last time you got to know your co-workers? Just for TODAY: Appreciate your co-workers. Try looking up and smiling, focusing on them when they approach your desk to talk; no more multi-tasking and ignoring people!