17 Mar Don’t Go It Alone
After many years of resisting the suggestion to do so, I recently joined a business networking group. I had lots of valid reasons for not joining in the past: the confidential and intimate nature of the work that I do, the early hour, the level of commitment and a somewhat knee jerk reaction against most arenas that feel like Group. So I avoided and stalled and put it off, until a friend invited me to tag along to her group to see what it was all about.
Fast forward a few months, and I am now a proud member of a local business networking group. And not just a passive chair holder, but an engaged, interested and committed member of the team. So what changed? How did I shift from years of resistance to nothing short of enthusiastic connection? In short, I got out of my own way. I put aside my preconceived notions of what a group would be like just long enough to actually be in one. I sidestepped my own biases about groups and committees and networks and stepped into a place of curiosity and openness. As a result, I’ve connected with some wonderful new colleagues, met some fascinating people in other fields and re-energized my practice. Its amazing what can happen when we stop assuming what an experience will be like and replacing those assumptions with real life actions.
Going it alone (whether in our personal or professional lives) can be great. It can help build self-confidence and teach us to rely on our own internal resources to problem solve. But being part of a larger community has some tremendous advantages as well, including having others help you define your goals and then supporting you as you try to reach them. This is true for our professional, business goals as well as our personal ones. We could all use some coaches, some teammates and a cheering section.