To lots of people who know me, I talk a lot and once I get started, I can go on and on. That is around people I know well and feel comfortable with but with a large crowd, I feel inadequate and my self confidence is in the toilet (where it has been stuck lately).
This will be my 3rd time going to Blogher. The first time I was like a deer in headlights, in way over my head. The second time, thought I new the ropes but it was still overwhelming and I had a hard time fitting in. This year, I will probably still be in over my head.
It is like I clam up and think that “Why would they like me?” or “Shut Up Jennifer, they don’t want to listen to you.” Of course, it makes me awkward, until that sign with some people, that I would get along with them and I click.
When it does get overwhelming, I will go an hide for a little bit. Find a quiet corner and open a book for a chapter, tends to do the trick. Sometimes I might slink down to the bar and have a glass of liquid courage.
Another thing that really helped me when I needed it, was the Serenity Suite. My first year at Blogher, it was a welcome respite. This year I am volunteering again to hopefully help someone that was in my position.
Last year I had a little nervous breakdown after losing my phone. It was the tipping point and once I went over, it all came out. The people I met during my little breakdown were very welcoming and listened. It was a total relief. I was amazed at the support I got during that time, all over little me.
One of the other big things that helped is opening up. I would say that I blogged about my battle with depression and I was often amazed at the doors that opened to me. Once I said that, people opened up and confessed their mental health battles.
This year, I am just going to take a deep breath and hit the conference. Will I worry if people like me? Probably. Will some people not like me? Definitely. Will it stop me? No.