It’s the biggest meeting of your life, and you don’t want to admit it, but you’re scared half to death. You cannot blow this. If you ace this meeting, your career will soar. If you freeze up, it won’t exactly kill your career, but your wings will be clipped, for sure. Here are some things you can be telling yourself and/or playing through your mind to help you get ready to make the big leap.
You Got This
You’ve been preparing for this for your entire professional career. Every milestone, every accomplishment you have made so far has been in preparation for, and inexorably leading to this day. Nobody is better positioned to pull this off than you. You know this stuff, and you’re ready to deliver!
If you’re not the type that bravado works for, then find that secret garden in your mind and trace patterns in the sand. Get in a calm, meditative, Zen-like state. Empty your mind of everything and let go of all the doubt, anxiety, and frustration. You’ve rehearsed what you will say a million times leading up to this meeting, so at this point, it’s mental memory. All you have to do is clear out the junk and the clutter and let that which you have practiced flow.
Old Time Rock’N’Roll
Maybe neither of those works for you. If not, kick yourself into high gear by vividly imagining the song “Eye of the Tiger” blasting at a hundred decibels inside your head. If that doesn’t get you pumped up, you may want to check your pulse.
You’re The Smartest Guy (or Gal) in the Room
It might not be true about every topic, but it’s true about this topic, and that’s what matters. You’re going to go into that meeting and you’re going to excite them about your idea. Even better, you’re going to absolutely blow them away with your detailed knowledge on the subject at hand. Why? Because you’ve got the skills, you’ve practiced for this moment, and frankly, there’s nobody in that room that knows more about it than you.
This Won’t Be Any Harder Than…
Pick something from your past that utterly terrified you. Maybe asking that special someone to the prom in high school. Proposing. It could be anything. Just fixate on something else you’ve done in your life that was even harder and more trying than the meeting you’re about to attend, and suddenly, it puts it all into perspective. No matter how bad or scary or uncertain the meeting is, you’ve probably endured worse. You’ve probably faced harder trials, and if you overcame those, then you’ll overcome this too.
Sometimes, I think people let themselves get too worked up about meetings. The people who are there are there because they for the most part) want to be. They want to hear what you have to say. They’re looking forward to learning from you. They want to be excited by you. There are very few times in your professional career when you have to endure an “Ambush Meeting.” Not saying it doesn’t happen. You’ll probably have at least one in your life. The good thing about them though, is that since they’re ambush meetings, you won’t have a chance to get nervous about them beforehand. You’ve got to look for the silver lining where you can find it. The bottom line is, don’t sweat the meeting. You’re going to be fine.