Start (Even If You Suck): What To Do When You Don’t Know Anyone Yet
One of the toughest things to do in any field is to get started. Whether we are sitting down to write, getting ready to go to the gym, or about to ask someone out the moments directly before are the toughest. Seth Godin has said that anxiety is experiencing failure in advance and, in many cases, that is true. One of the main reasons we are so worried about starting something is that we imagine it will not be as good as the perfect thing we see in our mind. For that reason, we decide to do the most natural next thing, which is . . .
. . . nothing.
It’s easier to decide not to do anything because then we are still comfortable and “safe.” So, when you have first moved to a new town, started at a new school or job, or even entered a new room, the natural instinct that takes over is one of protection. The problem is: if we don’t get out there and do something we never move forward.
So, if you are currently experiencing anxiety around the fact that you don’t know where to start in your journey of building relationships, here are a few things to remember that will help you get out of the anxiety mindset.
- Everyone sucks when they start – That smooth-talking friend of yours who seems to know everyone? They had to start somewhere and you can bet it wasn’t where they are now. The people who seem to have no issues moving through a crowd and making friends weren’t always that good; they became that way over time. No one pops out of the womb and walks. There’s a starting point for all of us and we aren’t very good at the beginning. Give yourself permission to suck; it’s okay.
- There are more good people out there than you think – For some reason we tend to remember our bad social experiences more than our good ones. So, after that one time you said hello to someone at a party who ignored you and kept talking to their friend, you have now devised that you must be a pariah. It’s simply not true. That person was rude and most people in the world aren’t. If someone decides to not engage with you, it really is their loss. You may have been able to help them and now they lost that chance. Try for someone else. Trust me, the results will be different.
- Trying is not life threatening – Think about it. If you decide to reach out to someone and they decide not to respond, will you die? Will you get sick or suffer in some way other than some hurt feelings? Probably not. But if you decide to not start you’ll never know where you might have gone or what you could have accomplished. That seems to me to be more painful than some hurt feelings.
So, if you are worried about getting out there and building new relationships, remember that all worrying does is waste your time. That is time you could be spending making major things happen in your life and meeting the people who will help you do that. Get out there and start (even if you suck), meet good people, and, most importantly, TRY. It won’t kill you. I swear.