This is Sabian and he is RESILIENT.
CONTENT WARNING: The I Am Resilient Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this post and on this website will include topics that you may find difficult.
Describe the situation where you had to be resilient:
As an introvert, when I discovered my entrepreneurial soul, I realized businesses are just people working with people to create value in the world, and to start my own business(es), I would need to explore new relationships and meet new people.
After I realized what needs to be done to develop a business, I registered to attend a networking event similar to a mastermind. It was a small group of 10-15 people, but even as small as it was, as I confirmed my reservation, I was frozen with anxiety because attending would mean I have to meet new people. Sitting there about to reserve my spot, paralyzed in my chair, something went through my mind, “People make up businesses, entrepreneurs start businesses and I am an entrepreneur. I need to do this; it’s the only way forward.” So, I confirmed my attendance and made my way to the event.
As I looked around for the cafe where we would meet, it happened again. The moment I walked up to the door and realized what I was looking at froze me in place. Time slowed down while my mind sped up, while hundreds of questions raced through my thoughts. What if I’m awkward? What if I look/say/do something weird? What if they don’t like me?
I was about to turn around to leave, but right then I noticed someone buzzing the door, unsure of where he was supposed to go. It turns out he was another attendee of the same event and we asked each other if this was the right place. It was, and we managed to get inside, up the stairs, and through the doors, when I suddenly stopped. There were two people right ahead and one of them is looking at me!
“Hi! Are you here for the event?” they said.
“…Yeah,” I responded.
“Great! Here, write your name on a tag, and feel free to have a doughnut. We’ll start as soon as everyone’s here.”
I helped myself to a doughnut while making nervous introductions to the two people already in the cafe. I helped myself to another doughnut. As more and more people arrived, I tried to wait for easy opportunities to talk to them. After grabbing my third doughnut, everyone had arrived and the event was about to start.
Everyone sat on chairs and sofas as the hosts made their introduction and set up the presentation. I started to feel a little more comfortable. And then they said we have to introduce ourselves, one-by-one. “Shit,” I thought to myself knowing that I would have to talk in front of everyone.
As the attendees introduced themselves, getting closer and closer to my turn, I could feel my chest shriveling up. I managed to calm down while each attendee was talking but every time the next person went up, the feeling came right back. Just before it was my turn, there was a black hole in my chest and it felt like it was sucking me in. I don’t want to imagine how I must’ve looked to everyone (probably like a constipated pretzel).
When it was my turn, and as soon as I started talking, the feeling got better. I told everyone exactly what was on my mind and said, “I’m an introvert, so I’m really trying hard not to shrivel up in the corner of the room over there.”
Saying that made it easier, and as I looked around at the calm, curious faces listening to me, one of them said, “So what? You’re here and you’re talking to all of us and we’re listening. What’s the problem?”
Exactly. I realized all those questions in my mind were pointless, and taking the first step made it easier
How did you practice resilience when faced with this challenge?
Every time I froze with anxiety, I would default to over-analyzing and asking many pointless questions, but one question helped regain my confidence: “Why do I need these questions?”
Please share one piece of advice for people who are going through a similar challenge.
Ask yourself, “Why am I here? What do I need and how can I get it?” The answers give you focus, direction, and clarity to help you move forward.
Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE and thank you for being brave and sharing your journey.