Anxiety Over Meeting Big-Shots

Working artist tucked away at home.

Working artist tucked away at home.

 

This morning I had a new insight or discovery about my life that you might have as well. Do you have a fear of meeting new people? Are you an introvert on top of that?

Yeah me too. I’m an artist, as you can see from the photo above. I also own a couple of online businesses that I maintain from my kitchen table. No reason to go out at all, no face-to-face dealings, which would make me happy enough with that except the world doesn’t work that way.

In addition to anxiety over meeting new people, which is common, I also feel especially intimidated by successful, outgoing, confident people who come across as very important.

For example my landlord! He’s a man in his 60s who carries himself tall and speaks with loud confidence. I don’t want to have anything to do with him, though he’s nice enough and makes sure everything is in good working order and well-kept. He’s a good landlord! But because he drives a big fancy BMW and oozes loud confidence for being such a successful property owner, I cower and want to just disappear into the corner somewhere.

Part of the reason I react this way is my personality. I’m an introvert, though skewing more toward ambivert. As an ambivert, I can be charming and talkative on occasion when I put my mind to it.

I don’t want my quieter nature to be an excuse, though, for never speaking up and showing confidence, so I explored this further, hoping it might point you toward some self-discovery that might be similar to mine.

Limiting beliefs about successful people

Confident, successful people are intimidating to me because:

  • I feel inadequate, like a nobody. I am reminded of my own shortcomings/failures.
  • They will judge me as being an idiot or worthless.
  • I have nothing to offer them, ie: no food for thought, nothing interesting or inspiring.

After contemplating these aspects of how I feel and how I perceive those who portray themselves as confident and successful, I thought of reasons why I might have nothing to talk about or share with such company.

Why I haven’t connected with many “big shots”

I could be wrong, but when I contemplated this, it felt right. Please keep in mind, I am talking about why I feel intimidated by important, successful people and feel uncomfortable and small around them. I don’t run in their social circles, yet!

The main reason there is no connection is that really successful driven people have a MISSION and PURPOSE to their lives. I did not. I would have a job and a life outside work that included hobbies and pleasant activities, but no overall focus and passion.

Therefore:

  • I had no similar foundation to discuss as a topic of conversation. People share their passions and what is important to them. If you have a big important mission you want to achieve, you’ll feel confident and enthusiastic about talking about it to anybody. 
  • People with vision and purpose seek others who have their own higher purpose. Often collaboration and new projects come about and frankly it feels different being amongst big doers. I was never a big doer, just a small doer who had a job as a means to an end.
What do I do with this insight?

What I need to do now is contemplate MY mission and purpose. What is YOUR mission and purpose?

If someone asks you what excites you right now, what do you say?

Become crystal clear about what you want and practice talking about it. I am going to practice and with practice comes confidence.

Then I will be able to easily talk to others who are wildly successful without feeling like a small idiot who’d rather go cower in the corner.

Do you have any strategies or self-talk you use to deal with intimidating people or situations? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Quick edit to add: on the very day I wrote this post, several hours later my landlord showed up at our building. REALLY! How weird is that, that it happened to be the same day I write about him.  My attitude was different this time, confident and sure. It was just very interesting timing.

 

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