A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending The Fearless Conference, a two-day event for ambitious women. I’m not looking to start a business however, My current job doesn’t allow for much interaction with like minded women. Long scale conferences and events tend to wear me out, but I always feel a sense of renewed motivation despite my lethargic body. In my opinion, It’s a necessary evil for professional development.
Attending events became an even bigger priority post-graduation. After sending out numerous job applications with no response I realized that I need to turn my weaknesses into strengths and learn to market, refine, and promote my personality/self-image. So, over the past few months I’ve been working hard to improve myself inside and out. From an improved fashion sense to 5K training, Lindsay 2.0 has been coming along quite nicely.
At the Fearless Conference I learned about mindfulness, picked up a few social media promo tactics, got a free headshoot, and I even listened to a company that has an opportunity to pitch their idea on the ABC TV show, Shark Tank. I can’t say I was an extroverted social butterfly, but I met a few new people, live tweeted a few talks, and even took UBER for the first time. It was definitely worth the $100+ I spent for a ticket.
While riding the train home the word “fearless” lingered in my mind. It’s a word that was used quite a lot during the conference. Throughout life I’ve always been a reserved individual; the person who would sit at the back of the class room, too afraid to participate. I’ve never considered myself a type-A extroverted personality. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of a fearless is “not afraid, or very brave”.
Thinking of this meaning I began to ponder if I’d been unconsciously fearless all my life, and been far too modest to highlight my accomplishments. Maybe I needed to rethink what makes a person fearless? After a few hours I came up with my own pre-requisites for a fearless individual.
- Person who does things that makes them nervous but will be beneficial in the long run:
Like I said above, I hate attending conferences and most events. Besides lack of physical stamina, I find myself feeling especially awkward during the networking/mingling portions towards the end of the day. At any given after-party I can usually be found in a corner, stuffing my face in order to avoid copious conversation. It’s not that I don’t like to talk, I just have an immense fear to either annoying the other party or saying something wrong. Comfort is only reason I’m a chatter-box at home. The downside to being so reserved is a lack of friendships and connections for the future. I recently dawned upon me when I get my own apartment, I will be alone, without anybody else to hang out with on a weekend. My little sister even seems to have it better with her small circle of friends she’s known since 2nd grade. When I was younger I never realized how important it was to meet new people and maintain relationships for a strong network. I have slim pickings for recommendations, personal vouching, and insider information. I can’t even use social media properly because I don’t know anyone well enough (this is especially obvious on Snapchat).
I’m sure many of the world’s most famous athletes, business people, and political leaders had to conquer their fears in order to reach the next level in their development or complete a task. I don’t think you can live without fear, but it’s possible to use it as a positive motivation instead of a hindrance. Today I’m attending Code for America’s Philadelphia open house for the first time. I have butterflies in my stomach, but I’m making the trip down to the city anyway. I know even if I only meet one new person and listen to the presentation, my life will be more enriched than it was a few hours prior. It amazes people me how many people I recognize at tech events after attending a wide variety for the past year. I wouldn’t say I’m BFFs with anybody, but it is a comfort to see a familiar face. Everybody has a fear that holding them back (or present inside their mind), but it’s the people that push their anxieties aside who are fearless. I know its easier said than done, but It’s something to work on everyday.