As I typed this title, because it’s my current theme, I felt your potential apprehension – or perhaps your desire to connect more confidently. My next thought – “You know, even if you’re not confident – connect anyway!”
It’s normal to feel uncertain, a little awkward sometimes, but if you want to be a connector – connecting with other people yourself, or standing in the gap to connect people to other people, or connect them with resources, knowledge, inspiration and encouragement – you don’t need to wait till you’re confident! Step out anyway and say hello, find the joy of connecting. Look for the most relaxed, potentially happy face in the crowd, and say hi, ask a question. Let them know why you want to connect. People love honesty! The confidence grows from the practice. You know that – you’ve seen it with so many other areas of life.
You’re not a confident musician until you’ve practiced and played for countless hours. But you have moments, even in the beginning, when you hear a sound that lifts your spirits and you realise that YOU made that sound… and it felt so good – your confidence grew and you wanted to increase your knowledge and experience, and feel the joy again and again. Maybe YOU connected with a stranger and they left you smiling… both of you smiling. That’s such a great feeling and it spurs you on when you think about making a difference in the world.
The dream in your heart will need you to step out of your comfort zone to achieve it.
I’ve been hosting a mentoring program called Confidently Connecting and the conversations we’ve had thus far (week 3) have been so inspiring. One of the participants had a beautiful insight following a moment when she had to step out of her comfort zone to engage in her child’s school activities. The first thing she noticed was that she didn’t overthink it, and then reflecting later said that when out of her comfort zone is when she does her best work. Interesting. How many of us want to do our best work, but we somehow want to do that without being challenged in the process?
I remember buying a card years ago with a picture of a kitten peeking out of a door, with a quote “Step out of the comfort zone; it’s where the best discoveries are made.” It captured my attention and I’ve never forgotten it. I think it became a philosophy of mine immediately.
What are the momentary opportunities you’ve taken this week? Perhaps there will be some just around the corner, people you’re yet to connect with, but you’ll be relaxed, not overthinking it, just being ok with the slight awkwardness of being out of the comfort zone, and seeing what there is to discover. And you might just make a greater difference than you realise.
Who’s made a difference in your life that probably doesn’t even know it?
There are SO many Difference-Makers in my world and I am SO grateful… for all the encouraging smiles, words, notes, videos and blogs that have supported me along the way. You could have been one of them. In fact, if you’re reading this you probably are. Thank you so much.
Cheering you on,
PS. Confidently Connecting is part of my upcoming book Do Talk To Strangers – How to Connect Anywhere With Anyone – if you have questions or comments regarding the content or if you’d like me to speak to your team or conference, please send me a note by clicking HERE :)