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  • Writer's pictureChani

Stepping Into Your Discomfort Zone: Embracing Networking

Hey, hello there!

Yes, I see you, over there in the corner—overwhelmed, a little deer in highlights(ish), figuring out who to approach and mustering up the courage to start a conversation. Or maybe you didn't quite make it there. A super important deadline came up, right? Did someone say… PJs & pizza?

If you haven't figured it out already, this has been me up until recently. I was the person who'd conveniently need to check emails, have to go to the toilet, or "gotta run" when the networking part of events began. The thought of networking made me clam up and shudder. It was something that didn't feel natural to me.

I'll never forget the day when someone said to me - "Chani, you look like one of those awkward, sleazy guys standing at the bar, who's caught checking out the ladies because they lack the courage to go up and talk to them." Said with love!

Last year as I continued to unpack my vision and see it evolve, "The DreamCraft Effect" emerged. A growing, global community, sharing in connected and creative experiences to live and build their dreams. To make sure "no-one dies with a dream inside."

It was at that moment that it clicked. Sitting behind the computer in my comfort zone wasn't going to create the impact and effect I envisaged. So, for the last 12 months, I committed to stepping into my discomfort zone (*"I've got the Power"*—sing it with me), to start actively getting out and networking.

If this sounds a little familiar, then here's what I've discovered and found that helped me be a little less awkward and a lot more confident:

1. The perfect time & being "ready" never actually exists.

The more you take action and have the courage to step into your discomfort zone, the more answers you receive and information you gather. Be curious and embrace the process. I've found each time I do, I'm rewarded in some way.

2. Have a brief spiel or introduction for yourself

Having certainty within yourself, where you uniquely shine helps you to be more confident in connecting. Test different ways of introducing yourself, what you do and find what lands best for you and those you love to work with

3. Own your story.

Speak from your experiences and stories. No one can challenge your personal narrative.

4. Have a song or visual reminder of your WHY

Connect your vision and dreams to a song or an image. Listen to it or sit with the image for a few minutes before walking in. This helps you focus back on the bigger picture and be in a state of inspiration

5. Wear what makes you feel confident and comfortable.

Be yourself and express your unique style. A signature piece can make you memorable.

6. Focus on building genuine relationships.

Quality over quantity—authentic connections matter more than collecting business cards. Follow up with an email or message across social media channels.

7. Take time to reflect after

Check in & ask yourself, what worked well? What could I improve on or do differently another time?

If you’ve read this far, you can tell I’m still alive, no-one has eaten me up or attacked me. While I say that in jest, I know first hand the fears of judgement, rejection or the potential to “embarrass” yourself or be humiliated can hold you back.

BUT… what if on the other side are -

  • The connections that are waiting to help you build your dreams,

  • A life you can impact or

  • The beginning of a beautiful friendship that you can ride the waves together as you carve your own paths.

So, if you've been hiding in the shadows at networking events, feeling like a deer in headlights, it's your time to shine. Embrace the discomfort, because that's where growth and genuine connections happen. Remember, you've got the power to step out, be confident, and make a lasting impression. Your dreams are waiting for you on the other side of that corner.

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