Up Close and Personal

Liz Sumner Fear, Self Worth, Trust Leave a Comment

I want to have open genuine conversations with people to get to know each other better. I want to practice curiosity.  I want to approach people without a bulletproof vest of reserve. I want to engage in exchanges like this often and easily.

To some people I know, this is like breathing. To me, these are goals that I have to gear up for and work to achieve. Talking to people, building relationships, these skills are essential to growing a business, yet often I feel like a deer in the headlights. I have to relax, breathe, and prepare myself to simply converse.

Friends tell me they don’t understand how I can perform on stage and still call myself shy. To me there is a huge difference between one-to-many and one-to-one. A chasm.

Why is it easier to be vulnerable in writing or on stage? Because I’m already removed. I’m not right in front of you. When our band, Fuzzy Logic, used to take a break between sets I would always hang around the stage and not mingle with the audience. Eeek.

What am I afraid of?

Nothing real. I’m afraid of imposing on you. Of seeing (or imagining) micromovements of distaste on your face. It’s embarrassing to say it out loud because it’s so ridiculous.

As I’m writing this, some of the crap that’s coming up is just a little too sensitive to share. Suffice it say that I just ordered Brene Brown’s latest book on Amazon in response.

I know that it’s attractive to be little vulnerable. I remember going to a high school reunion and telling the first person who asked me how I was doing that I was really nervous. She instantly relaxed and said,”Omigod me too.” We fell into an easy discussion about our expectations and the social anxiety melted away.

That reminds me that I just need to jump in, walk into the audience, greet someone.

Hi, I’m Liz. What are you up to?


To help Liz practice having conversations click here.

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