Monday, June 23, 2008

Network Like Nobody's Watching

After reading a post from the VA Revolution blog about Self Esteem, this quote got me thinking about last night: "They don't want to expose themselves to the ridicule of being seen as shy, nervous or ignorant. They would instead prefer to stay in their corners. "

This almost happened to me last night. I almost stayed in the corner. My friend invited me to go listen to some African drumming at a dance studio. When we got there I was surprised to see a dance class going on. I just assumed it was going to be a drumming performance. It was a drumming performance/dance class. The instructor, Naby Bangoura was an amazing dancer. It was obvious the 12 students in the class done this before. My friends and I stood quietly in the back of the room watching and listening. At one point the instructor noticed us, smiled and with a gesture of his hands invited us to join the class. We shook our heads no... and I literally backed in to the corner wanting to be invisible. Then I had a conversation with myself. I never dance because I don't dance good, I have no rhythm and that's just how it is. Other people have confirmed this belief. But then I thought, I've always wanted to dance so why don't I just go for it? Who cares what these people think? If they think I am a dork that can't dance, so be it.

My friends must have been having the same conversations in their heads because at the same time the 3 of us decided to go for it. We jumped in the back of the line and started dancing. Legs, arms, heads, everything moving. I decided I wasn't going to worry about what I looked like to others and just focus on what the instructor was doing and do my best to copy him. He was nice and even came over and showed us slowly how to do the moves. I danced for about a half an hour and I enjoyed it. I just assumed I looked like a dork out there and decided it was okay to be a dork. But when I was done a few people actually came up and told me, "wow you figured out those moves fast! and you're really good at this". Despite letting go of my worries about being a dork I have to admit I was happy to hear that I didn't make a complete fool of myself.

I realized that standing in that corner I was not invisible I was standing out like a person lacking self esteem. Actually joining the group made me blend more than standing in the corner did.

As Heather and Becki said, "In fact, lack of self-esteem stands out like a sore thumb at parties, meetings, conferences and social or official functions. Individuals with low self-esteem avoid introducing themselves to others. They prefer to stay in the shadows, away from the sights of others."

I'm glad I didn't stay in the corner and that I decided to dance like nobody was watching.

When you go to business networking events do you stand in the corner or do you get out there and dance (ie. mingle, introduce yourself, ask questions)?


"Dance like nobody's watching; love like you've never been hurt. Sing like nobody's listening; live like it's heaven on earth." - Mark Twain

1 comment:

Becki Noles said...

What an awesome lesson! Sometimes it's fun to let loose and do something that we've never done before.

If it makes you feel any better, David danced before the Lord naked. So if we want to hike up our skirts and dance our little hearts out it just means that life is good!