Have you ever come to a conclusion about something – decided on a truth – that wasn’t true? You later found out you made it all up in your head?
Over the weekend, I made a delicious butternut squash soup. My husband was in the middle of working on something, so I brought some over and just offered him a taste. Later in the evening, I asked him if he’d eaten any soup. He said he thought I made it for some reason other than for us to eat. Um, what? Why would I be making it if not for us to eat?
I didn’t say not to eat it. Somehow he concluded that because I’d only given him a taste from my bowl and not delivered unto him his own bowl, this soup must not be for him. Sometimes making up stories in your head serves you and sometimes it doesn’t. Are you making up truths and assigning meanings that aren’t even remotely accurate?
Recently I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic,” which I highly recommend! In it, she tells about an encounter she had at a book signing for her best-selling “Eat Pray Love.” A woman came up to her and thanked her for writing the book. She said she could really relate to the part where Liz talked about her abusive husband and the book gave her the courage to leave her abusive marriage as well. Liz was stunned because nowhere in her story did she say her husband had been abusive. There hadn’t actually ever been any abuse in her relationship at all. But somehow this reader “saw” a part of the story that didn’t exist. As it turned out, the woman’s made up story served her well and led her to leave a dangerous situation.
Are you seeing things that aren’t there?
Many times however, we see things that aren’t there, take action based on those assumptions and those made up stories don’t serve us.
Several years ago, when I was running Zen Rabbit Baking Company, I was looking for a contract bakery to make the Gratitude Cookies for me. I spent months researching and calling every bakery in the state of Florida, to no avail. I believed my baking partner had to be in the same state where I was. There wasn’t really any logical reason for this belief; it’s just what I assumed to be true. Once I changed my perspective and opened the door to believing something different, a mutual contact introduced me to the perfect baker in West Virginia.
What do you tell yourself about your business that may or may not be true? What stories are you making up about going to networking events, about talking to people you don’t know, about what other people might think? And what would happen if you simply made up new stories – stories that work more in your favor?
What if you created a different story?
Maybe you could feel more comfortable starting conversations with new people if you believed they have been waiting to talk to you for weeks. Ok, they didn’t necessarily know they wanted to talk with you until they actually meet you, but once you get into a conversation, they realize you have information they’ve been needing. I don’t know what info that is. Maybe you don’t either, right away. But you can still see yourself as an important messenger.
And your job at this event is to strategically and intuitively seek out the people who either have info for you or you for them. Yes, I said intuitively because intuition (or guidance from a higher power) can play an important role here. It leads you to someone you didn’t know you needed to meet.
Think for a minute. Have you ever been at a party and gotten into a conversation that delivered exactly the message you needed at that moment? Or met someone who became an important person in your life through a chance encounter? These crazy wonderful meetings can only happen when you’re in the “right” place. So you have to put yourself in the places or circumstances where they can happen. They do not occur when you’re just sitting on your couch watching cat videos.
Back to the original premise of making up meanings. Can you change the meaning you assign to attending networking events and make them less intimidating and more fun? If you need help with this endeavor, schedule a 15-minute “Let’s Chat” call with me and let’s see if I can be of service.