I Am Smiling … Aren’t I?

I’ve just paid for the insurance for my craft booth on Labor Day.

I’m catching up on the inventory I need for my first craft fair ever.

I have no idea how much inventory I need for my first craft fair ever.

I have no idea why I have to purchase insurance for six hours of sitting in the hot sun under a canopy smiling, chatting, sharing, and shaking from nerves.

Needless to say, I’m a nervous wreck. And I’ve still got four weeks to go.

How do you deal with a persistent case of nerves?

I imagine everyone goes through the same anxiety highs and lows before any event: giving a speech or presentation at the office; reading your latest writing out loud to fellow writers; teaching a class; preparing for an intense discussion with someone.  There’s all sorts of things  in our lives that make our stress needle go off the charts.

I’m so afraid I’ll forget something. Not do something. Say the wrong thing. I’m afraid that an Angel Tear will fall apart in someone’s hand.

I’m interested to hear your scare stories. How they developed, how you dealt with them. How you (hopefully) lived happily ever after despite the breakdown you created for yourself.

I believe that none of us would truly take on a project if we didn’t think we could handle it. Speaking in front of others, teaching someone something, writing something for work  or school — there are a million things we do every day that leave room for judgment and performance.

We all make it through our experiences. With a bit of luck, and talent and a positive attitude, we have fun along the way, too.

There’s only one way to go — forward. Might as go that way smiling … 


 

28 thoughts on “I Am Smiling … Aren’t I?

  1. I’m sure you’ll do great. Your angel tears are lovely, and should sell themselves. All the suggestions received should get you through the day just fine. Best of luck!

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  2. My daughter sometimes does craft shows and I help a little bit — people are so nice, and I guarantee they will all be thinking admiring thoughts like, “Wow, this person followed through on her dreams, that takes so much persistence!”

    Also, bring a screw driver, some hair scrunchies (you may not need them, but someone always does, and then you will be the cool helpful lady), and some cement blocks or big jugs of water to tie to your canopy legs in case a breeze blows up. And business cards! I have bought crystals from a lovely woman and I know she is from Fort Worth, but that’s all I know, because she didn’t put any kind of identifying object in the bag with my purchase!

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    1. I love those ideas! I thought about the business cards, and I’m sure I’ll need scrunchies. We use gallon water jugs to hold down the canopy when we go camping — good idea for the craft show, too! You know I’ll be reporting about my adventures — good OR bad!

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  3. HitandRun gave good advice. The only comment I would add is this: When I don’t know what to say, I focus on the person in front of me. I try to notice something about them, smile and give them a compliment or a question. It could be as simple as “how are you enjoying the fair?”

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    1. That’s what I’m thinking … I just got a message from my deceased mother-n-law this morning to clean up a metal angel holding several blue crystals she gave me years ago and use it to represent my Angel Tears, too! So messages come from everywhere!

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  4. I was terrified before my first craft show, too. But once I had my first customer I started feeling better. One piece of advice I’d give is to make sure you take something to eat and drink. I was starving by the time it was over! I wish you all the best!

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  5. You will do great and it will be a success. I do understand the nerves. I stressed myself out a few years ago when I signed up to be a trail volunteer for a mountain run/hike competition. I was on the first shift, so I had to be on the mountain before the sun rose. I was nervous about hiking in the dark, but I just made sure I was prepared (headlamp). I calmed down when I learned the morning of the hike that I was paired with someone. While hiking we saw about twenty satellites overhead, one after another. A bit “big brotherish” but interesting to see. It all worked out! Best wishes!

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      1. Yes, it was enjoyable and I laughed at myself for getting so worked up about hiking in the dark. Now I know, it is no big thing. Yes, I would absolutely do it again! 😁

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  6. Lots of people get nervous or even terrified before they do things. Some don’t. Even Barbara Streisand is terrified before she sings and almost passes out. But here’s the thing: noting any of us do is a big deal. Mountains out of molehills. We make ourselves believe that what we do is important but it’s not. It’s just stuff and while we want things to be perfect, the things we think are not perfect are usually note even noticed by others. It they are, they are forgiven, because people aren’t all horrible. The best think you can do is this: Think about how you would help someone in your position. How would talk the person down? What would you say to her to calm her fears? From the outside, you would be and to tell her everything was going to be okay and fun. It can’t be fun if the person refuses to LET things be fun. It’s all about attitude. Here’s another thing. You need to pick up the pencil. That means, picking up a pencil that’s on the floor. You can’t try to pick it up, you can’t pick up part of it. You either pick it up, or you don’t. That’s a lesson in making up your mind and stoping the monkeys from running around inside your head.

    When I lectured, I would go over what I said on the way home. Usually I was fine, but now and then, I missed something or didn’t say it the way I wanted to. But everyone liked what I did and never noticed anything wrong. Nothing was wrong. I was just criticizing myself for not being perfect. Gotta give that stuff up because no one cares but you. I’m pretty relaxed doing anything, especially lecturing because I’m just talking to people. People who wanted to be there.

    You can’t have fun being tense and freaked out and that shows. If you’re relaxed, the people you’re with will feel that and be relaxed too. You’ll scare people away by being needy and afraid. You have to make your audience comfortable. You have to make them glad to be there. You can’t do those things if you’re afraid. It’s okay to be afraid, you just have to act as if you aren’t and eventually, you won’t be.

    Again, think of what you would say to someone in your position. How would you make them feel better? Then say that to yourself. Your first job is to make your audience feel relaxed, better and glad to be there. Remember that and you’ll have fun, no matter what goes down and people will be drawn to you and if they don’t buy anything they’ll remember the nice relaxed chat they had with you and EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY. 🙂 Really. It will be.

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    1. What you say is so true. Why do we torture ourselves so? I started this craft because it was FUN. An outlet other than writing. Something where I could actually interact with other people. I think it’s just opening night jitters. But everything you said rings true. And thank you. Really.

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