This last week was a perfect opportunity to test if practicing skills for my Goal #1 made any difference in how I’m able to make eye contact in out of comfort situations, forge genuine connections, and show up authentically in settings that usually trigger me constantly, cause a lot of anxiety and quite frankly make me want to run for the hills.
I was attending and presenting at the annual ‘legal offsite’ at work. It is a 3-day gathering of lawyers from all around the world working at my bank for training, exchanging ideas and networking. Out of thousands of lawyers working here, only 150 were invited and my manager was rather cryptic about who will be there. I dread such events; I’m not a shmooser, find small talk extremely boring, and constant new introductions require making eye contact with a slew of strangers. In one word: torture. Which got instantly magnified upon arrival and finding out the others attending were only the very top executives, all working for the bank for many years and knowing each other well. I was the most junior kid on that block, and a newbie to the bank who has not yet met or worked with anybody except of my manager. My first thought: kill me now and put me out of my misery. But then I remembered the latest post by Créatrice des bijoux about the importance of stepping left. And so I did. I checked in, brought my luggage to my hotel room, and in this oasis of privacy thus created: I took a moment to meditate for 2 minutes by just focusing on my breath, I wrote down top 3 limiting believes/occurring world beliefs about this event, and how I was going to make a different choices. It all took a 15min.
I went back downstairs lighter and with intention to create authentic connections and have fun with it (yes, fun)! And it was indeed a very intense, but also very enjoyable 3 days. I learned a lot, I forged connections and even made few new friends. I gave my scheduled presentation on ‘how blockchain technology will change the world for the better and why our bank is in a best position to be the force driving such change’ to a standing ovation and animated Q&A session. When Universe threw me a curve ball and I found myself drawing a table #1 out of a hat for lunch seating, which happened to be the one General Counsel was sitting at, and a panicked feelings returned, I stepped left again. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.