Networking is something that is considered essential in the business world. Sometimes though, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. We want to be able to prove that we can do these things on our own, that we are independent, so our pride prevents us from asking for help. There’s something in us that keeps us from taking that first step and starting to network with others.
We need to start changing our attitude to start realising that networking and creating a supportive community is sometimes the best way to reach the success we are striving for. We need to start learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Here are just a few tools to help you become more comfortable with networking:
- Switch Your Thinking
Trick your brain into breaking away from those negative thoughts and habits! Whenever a doubting or isolating thought comes across your mind, distract your brain by thinking about writing “I can do this!” but with your opposite writing hand. Just taking that time to imagine yourself writing with your opposite hand is a complex thought and you will have to use your prefrontal cortex (aka your “thinking” brain). There’s no room for those negative thoughts as your mind is too preoccupied.
- Anchor Thoughts
Set up an image of yourself achieving one of your networking goals. See yourself shaking hands with someone after making a successful connection at an event or turning a meeting into a successful business opportunity. Keep those kinds of images in the forefront of your thoughts and let that encourage you to take that first small step out of your comfort zone and straight towards the networking event.
It’s one thing to say you’re going to go to a networking event or say that you will meet up with ‘so and so’ on this date. But, scheduling it and writing it down makes it a little more concrete. It’s harder to back out of those kinds of plans and it makes you feel an obligation to get yourself out there.
- Be The Network
Networking is not instantaneous collaboration. You don’t step into an event and immediately find a person who can help you with all your dreams. The world is all about connecting with each other. You never know if that person you met last week can help the person you are meeting today, so create a way to allow them to connect. Invite them along and help others to grow within their business and in turn, they may be able to help you or know someone else who can help you in the future.
This blog is based predominantly on information within The Stronger Than My Excuses Show: Isolation Will Kill Your Dreams – Get Out There and Network. See the full show here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQrqs4Zb7Bk&t=929s