You suck at meeting new people, and it’s not your fault

Designing your life so you’re spending it with high quality people (i.e. networking) is one of the most high-impact things you could be doing…

But at no point in life did anybody teach us to network and seek people out intentionally.

Instead, we’ve been trained to see serendipity as romantic and intentionality — at least when it comes to meeting people — as opportunistic.

For this purpose, Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time was a paradigm-shifting read for me.

10 fears disguising as plain, old bad habits

I used to think bad habits such as procrastination and not eating healthy are the consequences of a lack of will or discipline.

But ever since I stopped accepting them at face value and started looking for the fear, I found them.

Here’s 10 of the ‘bad habits’ I think are actually disguised fear:

  1. Procrastination — fear of taking action, then finding out you’re not as good you thought
  2. Staying at home — fear of rejection
  3. Recklessness — fear that you’ll plan and things will go off the rails anyway
  4. Indecision – fear of making the wrong decision
  5. Not speaking up — fear of looking and sounding stupid
  6. Not exercising — fear that it is useless and futile
  7. Not eating healthy — fear that I’ll miss out on the latest food everyone’s talking about
  8. Not eating healthy — fear that people will mock you as being self-conscious, egotistical, and shallow
  9. Too much shopping — fear that people think I don’t have money to spend
  10. Getting angry — fear that I’m not communicating effectively

Why does this matter?

Two reasons.

First, I have a theory habits such as procrastination and indecision were hard-wired into us as positive while we were growing up.

Procrastination — For the first 18 years of my life, I was proud of being lazy and doing things at the last minute.

Oh yeah, I didn’t study at all and look at how high my grades are. I’d totally be at the top of the class if I actually studied.

And indecision? Obedience was the most rewarded virtue when you’re young.

Listen to adults and follow what they tell you. Saying what you think is bad and rude.

Second, fear is a universal enemy.

I hate being weak and scared. Tell me I’m afraid of something, and I’ll go ahead, do the thing, and show you I’m not.

I am starting to think everything we do that we don’t want to… And everything we don’t do that we do want to… Are all rooted in fear.

Look for the fear and conquer it.

Don’t forget the human on the other side of the screen

I want to share with you my biggest breakthrough in copywriting and marketing.

Here it is: Regardless of how many people I am writing to, there’s only one person on the receiving end.

And…

  • He isn’t aware of how many people you are writing to.
  • He doesn’t like being a mere line item in your email list.
  • When you say “hey guys,” he usually has no idea what you’re talking about or who the guys you’re referring to are.

So regardless of your medium — email, blog post, a concert — and how many people you are writing to, remember that someone, a human individual, is reading it.

Make him feel special.

Like he’s the only person in your world right now.

Do that and he will reward you for it.