How to not to tense up when asked, ‘What do you do?’

How to not to tense up when asked, ‘What do you do?’

Knots in stomach. Anxiety. And a consuming feeling of looking like a total cop out. Yeah, that was usually my predominant feeling when asked, “So, what do you do.”

I dreaded follow up questions that begged me to elaborate on what it encompassed, what my client portfolio looked like, and where I saw myself taking these interests of mine.

Social engagements were a real anxiety-prober for me. Not so much now, but at that time…whoa…it was rough.

My concern was that my interests covered many things. Fashion design, writing, cooking, baking, advertising, and so much cool shit. The big problem was trying to explain to people in a way that didn’t make me seem flighty, confused, or non-committal.

I was and still am definitely in a place of “figuring things out.” In fact, I’ve accepted that I’m just going to live there in figuroutable-land.

My guess is that we share a common struggle with communicating our multi-passionateness.

But to be able to tell our story without feeling ashamed, tense, and riddled with anxiety because we dread our passions being judged and shitted on, we first need to embrace who we are and what we do.

So, I’ve got a few pointers to help direct the conversation you want to have. A way to navigate explaining who you are and what you do without the ⛈cloud of shame hiding in the bushes.

Every time I feel my heart rise in my throat after someone looks at me square in my eyes, and asks “What do you do?” I feel more confident knowing I can pull strength and confidence from one or more of these guides.

The “HA-HA, but I’m fabulous so of course they ask…” thought

It may seem silly and downright absurd, but not so much when you actually say it to yourself in your time of need. Reciting something positive that you know is true takes your degree of worry down a notch. You’re more prepared and likely to start off by responding with something that compliments or gives a warm hug to what you do.

Practice makes perfect

This question will come back at various stages of your life, no question. Relax your shoulders by anticipating and so preparing for it. It doesn’t need to be a long drawn out saga, but it should be a story that comes to you naturally and makes you feel at ease when telling it. Frame your journey in a positive light. Highlight your diverse strengths in ways that make you proud.

Keep some things to yourself

Everybody don’t need to know everything about you or what you’re working on. A little mystery goes a long way. Plus, you owe it to yourself to give you some time to work through ideas that aren’t yet developed and clear to you. Let others in when you’re sincerely ready.

Take time to develop your taste buds

Like I mentioned just now, some of your passions might be in their infancy. You love the idea of it so much but you haven’t yet sampled, tested, and tried it out to see if it really fits for you and where you are right now in your life. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. It might mean that you simply need to revisit the idea at a later time.

Hobbies, passions, and businesses

Not every hobby or passion should = business (Repeat as many times as you need to).

Some things ought to remain things you do for the pure joy of it. I know first hand that when I’ve tried to or actually succeed in monetizing something I enjoyed as a hobby; I thoroughly grew to dislike it later on. This doesn’t mean that it will happen to you, but it has happened to me. Monetizing some hobbies can suck the ever-loving joy right out of them.

Who cares?

At the end of the day it’s your life, your journey. No one should stand in judgement of that (but they sure won’t pass up the opportunity to). You control the narrative. So, take control and tell a story, authentic to you, that you can be proud of.

What do you think? I want to hear what you think of these pointers. Leave a comment below.

  • How do you deal with explaining your multi-passionateness to people you’ve just met?
  • Any tips or pointers to add to these?

Stay beautiful darling.

Much, much love,


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And if you find this post super useful, please share with a friend and talk about it. Over some ginger tea maybe…and coconut drops.

COMING SOON: The Femmepreneur to social media! 😃😃😃

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