Monday, January 21, 2013

How to become more courageous?

Last year I joined Classy Career Girl's Networking Challenge. To be honest I didn’t stick with the challenge for very long. My goal was to contact other bloggers and interview them about their careers for this blog. A couple of bloggers agreed to be interviewed then never responded to my questionnaire. After I was stood-up for a phone interview, I lost interest in the project altogether.

For my 2013 "Be Strong" project I would like to include a networking challenge, but if it is to be successful I have to figure out how to deal with rejection.
In Penelope Trunk's audio interview with the yoga teacher, Penelope tells her she acted courageously when she called Penelope. All of the things she does in yoga gives her the ability to deal with the feelings of hurt and crushed ego she may experience when calling someone who was known to rip off the heads of her interviewers. See my post Penelope Trunk gives wake-up call.
Penelope recommends everyone send an email every day to someone they think may not respond for an entire year. At the end of 365 days if you have two responses from two amazing people you will then have something to feel amazing about.  
After the audio interview Bettina (the yoga teacher) came up with the following courage challenge:
  • Do yoga to feel strong inside.
  • Take a risk like sending an email to someone you admire.
  • Forget about that email.
  • Repeat every day for an entire year.
  • Let me know what happens as a result.

  • I’ve already begun this challenge and have had some success. Not dwelling on whether the recipient will respond to my email has helped immensely. Please see my posts Three amazing books I read in 2012 along with Lisa Bloom's favorites and How to dress "strong" at work.

    Also hearing how helpful yoga is in attaining courage I think 2013 will be the year I start practicing yoga.

    In Anna Runyan’s post The Top 10 Networking Questions at I gained insight into why I did not receive a response to my interview emails. Anna writes:
    The other thing you might want to do is go back to the informational request email and examine if there might be something turning these people off. Is it too long? Does it say you only want 15 minutes of their time? Is the email specifically directed to them or their company and did you include some type of compliment or statement so they know it isn’t just a generic email you send to everyone?
    Will you join me in Bettina's courage challenge?  What has helped you become more courageous?


    1. Anonymous5:43 PM

      At my previous job I did cold calling all the time. And not just any cold calling but to CEOs to major companies such as J&J as well as to many highly influential political folks. And I was highly successful. Most likely the reason I was at the company for so long (I decided to leave). Why was I good at it? Because I was comfortable with it and I didn't catpre about the rejection. Since it was cold calling (or in your case emailing) I reminded myself that I wasn't going to bump into them at Walmart over the weekend. They don't know me, therefore they aren't rejecting me.

      Truth: I miss the calls. Weird. I know.

    2. I am one of the least courageous people you will ever meet. I go through life everyday stressing about social interactions. I'm much better when I'm all alone, but of course, I can't live my life tucked away like a hermit. I need to work on that fear.

    3. I am loving this post and am your newest follower//fan! I love the Classy Career Girl blog, but I've never paid much attention to her challenges. I think your project is fabulous, and I'm going to actually try and do it. Stopping by from SITS, and I'd love for you to stop by and say hi if you get the chance. Looking forward to your updates!

      Diary of a Debutante

    4. Carli Alice,
      What a great story. Prior to this blog I remember making only one cold call - I called a purchasing manager at a major company in the area and asked if he would speak at my professional organization. I almost fell off my chair, first when he actually answered the phone and second when he said yes. You are correct they aren't rejecting you - just your proposal - which sometimes just didn't come at the right time.

      Interesting that you miss it though. Now that I am no longer program chair I don't miss booking the speakers one bit.

    5. Kristen,
      It is best to become more courageous in baby steps. I read post yesterday saying sometimes you just need to show up. Also, a former co-worker told me when attending a networking event of taking a class go alone. You will be forced to go outside of your comfort zone and meet others.

    6. Stephanie,
      Thanks for stopping in. If you do decide in my email project be sure to come back and let me know how it goes. I did check out your sight and was impressed with your hooked on books project.