I will admit to being apprehensive to going to my first blogging conference. I have never been great at meeting people and you know I don't always give the nicest faces. I knew that going to SNAP could be really good for my blog, for my business- and for me, but only if I could get out of my shell! Going with three friends from my area definitely set me up with some safety nets, but I knew I wanted to meet new people and do more than just hang with the people I already knew!
So what helped me prepare for SNAP? Besides making packing lists and ordering business cards?
The first big help was that I have been reading and digesting a self help book lately that my counselor recommended. It is called "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. Basically the book is all about learning to be content with who we are, not hustling for validation, and accepting our imperfections. It has really helped me practice so many things that are hard for me- like just being really authentic with people and less guarded. Weeks before going on my trip, for reasons other than just my trip, I was working on this stuff. I really, really recommend this book for anyone who struggles with confidence or perfectionism.
Also, before I left I made an appointment with my counselor. I realize that most people don't have one of those, but the point of it was just to spend some time talking out loud with someone who gets me about how to approach such a new and nerve wracking weekend. (I think writing about it in a journal or talking with your spouse would work too!)
As I have said before, I have gone to a counselor for a long time for other insecurities, so for me this was a good bet. The best thing we came up with was that I wanted to go with an attitude of being proud of myself and what I do, but humble in that. Also that for me- the more VULNERABLE I was in every situtation- the more I would get out of it and take away. If I went and stayed in my shell and didn't put myself out there at all, I would come home with very little gain. But if I wanted to get the most out of all of my experiences- I had to give a lot.
(Me being real- this is what I looked like every night after I changed out of my deliberately planned outfits!)
So I had my plan...and I went. And guess what? It was amazing. Like life changing. When we showed up the first day I was exhausted and didn't feel very social, but I tried to just accept how I felt and do what I could. Within the first hour I ended up being introduced to one of the bigger bloggers that I love to read and really wanted to meet. I put myself out there and gave her a ONE little BELT bracelet/business card and guess what?? It turns out that she had already read my blog and was super complimenting! A big blogger that I admire is suddenly complimenting me and strapping on my leather cuff just because I opened my mouth and was real? WIN!
Honestly it was like that ALL weekend! Everytime I worked up the nerve to talk to someone or introduce myself or contribute to a project- it was a total WIN. It was totally true- the more I gave, I was filled up ten fold.
As I drove home from the airport alone, ready to see my family after four days. I was just so filled up with....JOY? What an amazing feeling that have not often been familiar with. I felt so filled up from the weekend that I couldn't wait to get home and share it and keep building on everything I had gained. I learned so much in my classes yes, but I really feel like I learned so many more valuable things about myself. I'm ready to be me, share myself, and be confident where I stand. Who doesn't want that???
Check out more info about my classes at SNAP!
What I Learned About Myself