Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why Dreamforce Scares Me

I start to get nervous about a month before. I have to stop myself from thinking about it. Sometimes, waiting to finish planning until the last minute helps.

What makes me so nervous that I start feeling a bit nauseated?

Dreamforce.

It's the annual conference hosted by Salesforce.com - filled with education sessions, technical assistance, vendor booths and seminars on the future of the platform.

Don't get me wrong. I love Salesforce. I love the platform and the community and the training sessions... as long as I am sitting at home snuggled up with my laptop or at my isolated desk at work.

You see, I'm an introvert. And one that has a constantly running internal monologue about why I suck at handling social situations. I enjoy being around people, but in moderation. Social interaction exhausts me mentally. I'd much rather type than talk.

So the idea of traveling somewhere I'm not familiar with (it's my fourth year attending... but still), to wander around Moscone with thousands (tens of thousands!) of people, many of whom I correspond with on Twitter (and whose names I will most likely forget when I see them face-to-face)... it scares me.

That hasn't stopped me from going to Dreamforce in years past. But, my lack of confidence and the doubts swarming in my brain, well, those never stop. And if you're thinking right now 'she seems pretty confident to me!', know this: I fake it well. I put on a show. And then I go back to the hotel and revel in being alone.

I'll be there next month.

I know it will be a great experience. It always is.

But, that doesn't stop me from feeling a bit anxious.



Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Email:
rathergeeky@gmail.com | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

6 comments:

  1. Nothing but love & support from your DF family.

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  2. I really appreciate your honesty, Jenna. Dreamforce can be intimidating no matter what your personality. As a semi-introvert myself, I can relate to some of the feelings you're describing.

    I try to look at Dreamforce as a great arena to "practice" your extroverted side. The upshot is everyone is there for the same reason and there is a genuine interest in sharing and supporting each other. I don't think you get that kind of vibe at most conferences.

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    Replies
    1. Tom:

      Great perspective. And you're right, it's pretty easy to strike up a conversation with people there. I often ask "Is this your first Dreamforce? So, admin or sales? How many users?" right off the bat. :)

      And this is one of those things that you DO need to push past. The more I put myself in uncomfortable situations, the better I feel about it - even if it's difficult in the moment.

      Thanks for your commet.

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  3. As a fan and fellow introvert (see my post on this very subject here: http://wp.me/plObo-2P ) I can tell you I go through the same type of excitement / anxiety every year. On the on hand, I get to be completely surrounded by the people and platform that push my profession to the limit. On the other, that's a lot of people and platform for an introvert. A lot. So I get anxious, too. But just like so many situations in life, I just go with it. I feel the fear and do it anyway. Then I, too, get some down time to recharge.

    Congrats on coming up with your own strategies to cope with what could have overwhelmed you. I'd wager that even the most extroverted can be vexed by the largesse of Dreamforce.

    See you in San Francisco!

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  4. I am exactly the same way - I'm an extreme introvert and often hide in my room after my Dreamforce sessions. Plus I'm taking an exam this year so the anxiety is through the roof! But if I see you at the Cirrus Insight Happy Hour, I will say hi. Or I will really really try. :)

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