Twice this past week, I received the lesson that I am not a mind reader. I was beating myself up over what I THOUGHT others were thinking.
The first occurrence last week was after a networking event. Someone approached me as I was walking to my car. She has clients who are entrepreneurs, and she’d heard that I help women entrepreneurs with personal and professional development. I was already thinking about where I needed to be next, and I really did a poor job of expressing how I could help. For the next two days, I thought about what this person must think of me. One of my strengths is communication, and I couldn’t even communicate effectively how I could assist her clients! Well, there’s no way she’d want to connect now…and then she reached out and we’re meeting in a couple weeks. I had incorrectly projected my worries and assumptions (of what she was thinking) onto her. I am not a mind reader.
The second occurrence last week was right before a women’s entrepreneur group meeting I was hosting. I was taking a risk by holding the meeting in a different area of the city, trying to expand my presence. This meant that my “regulars” would have a farther drive and might not make it, and this meeting was scheduled right before the holiday weekend. The responses I was getting told me it was going to be a small turnout. The bright spot was that I did have one new person attending. However, I went into projecting mode. Without even meeting this new person, I projected my fears onto her. “She’s going to think I always have this small turnout.” “She’s going to be disappointed that she doesn’t get to make a bunch of new connections.” Well, right away when I met her, she couldn’t be nicer, and she later said that she preferred smaller groups because she can get to know people better and it’s not intimidating. I am not a mind reader.
Here’s the positive lesson: It’s a good thing to assess what you could have done differently in a situation so that you are more prepared next time. Learn and improve. But do not project YOUR thoughts and fears onto someone else. First of all, you are probably making it far worse in your head than it is, and second, you are not a mind reader!
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