Many of us are not able to live our dreams because we are living our fears. Even the most seasoned and successful event management professionals will admit that they are affected by them. Fears are not irrational, they always have a source somewhere. They will prevent you from succeeding, unless you work at identifying the root cause of the fear and then looking at the best ways to triumph over it. This will require dedicated, sustained efforts, but with time you will be able to push ahead and achieve your dreams.
Most event management professionals face the following fears that hinder their success. Fortunately, there are ways that you can employ to overcome them.
1. Fear of speaking in front of a crowd
Public speaking is often misunderstood as the fear of speaking in front of large crowds. But it can also mean that you are afraid to talk in front of a small group of people who are attending a meeting or a conference. As an event planner, this fear can impact your career as your profession involves speaking to groups of people, whether it is during a client presentation or while briefing your team on the day of the event. If you are not confident of speaking in front of people or try and avoid such meetings, you may not be effectively communicating with them and also losing out on progressing in your career. This could also adversely affect the success of the event you are managing.
Poor confidence levels and a lack of experience are the most common reasons for this fear. To overcome the same, practice is the key. You can have mock meetings with people you are comfortable with and also practice speaking in front of a mirror. Once you are more confident, you can progress to addressing smaller meetings before speaking in front of a larger audience. You can take the help of cue cards, but do not rely heavily on them. You do not have to stick to a script. Improvising is the key.
2. Fear of failing
A wise man once said, “The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” This applies to event planning, too. Focusing too much on the negative and the thought of failure means you either won’t begin work at all or try anything new. As an event planner, you need to be innovative and use technology in inventive ways. Trying anything new means there is always a chance of failing. However, if you do not take such risks, you will never come up with game-changing ideas that can help you achieve your biggest successes and establish your identity.
Overcoming the fear of failure is not easy as it is constantly lingering at the back of your mind. However, you can work it to your advantage by understanding that it is pushing you to give your best and focusing on planning each phase of the event down to the minutest detail. You can also work with others in the initial stages instead of taking the entire responsibility on yourself. This can help improve your confidence over a period of time.
3. Fear of succeeding
Some event professionals are actually afraid of succeeding. Their fears range from, ‘What happens after I achieve my goals?’, ‘Is being successful everything that I imagine it to be?’, ‘Will being in the limelight mean that others will get jealous of me and not be as supportive anymore?’.
Being successful does not mean you have to stop trying. There is no glass ceiling to success and once you achieve what others have only dreamt of, you become the competition that others want to beat. This means, you will have to up your game and achieve something bigger and better next.
Also, being competitive does not mean you cannot have a healthy relationship with others. Be among people who motivate you and celebrate your success, and you must celebrate theirs too. Having worked your way to the top will also help you appreciate other people’s struggles.
4. Fear of overshooting the budget
This is a genuine fear as event planners are often working with complex budgets or trying to achieve a lot on a shoestring budget. The client’s expectations and their budget don’t always match, and yet one cannot afford to have attendees think that we are cutting corners at the cost of the event. It is common to underestimate the costs or for unexpected requirements to come up. Sticking as close to the original plan is important, but when unexpected yet critical requirements come up, you have to be creative in finding solutions for them. It is possible to bring more technology to low budget events and you will find numerous free event planning ideas that help you save resources. Prioritising what’s most important while keeping a contingency amount of around 20% will help you overcome this fear and achieve your goals.
5. Fear of being offensive
Although it is important to be polite, it is equally crucial to understand that your fear of upsetting anyone should not stop you from being honest and speaking up when things are not working out. If things go wrong due to lack of communication on your part, you will end up with the blame. When the success of the event is at stake, you should stop worrying about what others are thinking and be honest and communicative. Understand the other person’s or team’s perspective and then put your thoughts across in the right tone. Present your views in a matter of fact way so that they are taken in the right spirit and ultimately the event benefits.
To conclude, it is impossible not to feel fear. However, what matters is how you overcome them to do justice to your work. To become a great event planner, you must not be afraid of making mistakes, but instead learn from them and constantly improve your game.