Have you ever been to Starbucks alone and just found it difficult to speak, or felt that everyone is going to notice if you wave your arm to say hi? Have you walked out of an event and really criticized yourself because you didn’t speak up or introduce yourself to someone of influence? Has there been any time where you just wished you opened your mouth?
Well at the surface, your friends or a family member can just joke that you are shy. However, diving deeper into what is happening you can realize that society’s hidden norms are manifesting themselves around the clock. The norms suggest that you are not supposed to be loud, that you are not supposed to talk to a stranger, and there are many others that sometimes don’t make any sense depending on the situation. Well even though they are meant to be beneficial to us, the trick is realizing that it is beneficial to society as a whole and not particularly to you. The bulk of all these norms is called social conditioning.
At this point you might ask why I am talking about this and my answer is that these norms are the major sources of resistance, unhappiness, boredom and other negative states of mind that mankind has to deal with. In other words, social conditioning can be as strong as preventing you of sharing your craft or story and choking you to be average for the whole purpose of fitting in. The implications are huge. For most people, it makes them prevention oriented, worrying about not having an awkward conversation, not looking stupid, not offending others and the like. Don’t get me wrong: we should all do our best to keep this in the back of our minds but not at the price of our own expression and creativity.
For instance, a few years ago, I noticed that the more prevention oriented I became the less happy and enthusiastic I got about life. In the end, you feel disappointed in yourself. To remedy this low state of mind, I became an avid learner of cold approach. In other words, not waiting for a signal to talk to a stranger or not just relying on your social circle to get introduced to new people. At this point, I have at least 10 thousand people that I cold approached under my belt and this number will quadruple soon.
Reasons to try this approach:
What you realize is that by taking the initiative, people will ask you questions about your life or projects that you have going. This does two things: first, you will know more about yourself than ever; second, you will become a master at pitching your ideas.
That will all come down to incremental positive changes in your behavior and personality that you have never thought would be possible. Then the sooner you notice the shift, the sooner you realize the importance of building your own brand and come out of your comfort zone.
This article is meant to give a little intro and there is certainly much to learn on the topic. If you want to access to more resources on the topic, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.