Today I’m giving a workshop at a large bank on the “Power of Networking”. This will be my 5th year giving it and I love doing it. One of the exercises I get the participants to do is to think of 3 words that come to mind when they think of networking.
Some come up with words like “boring” or “tiring” and others have more pleasurable words associated with networking. When you catch yourself using negative words for any task or event, for example, accounts or paperwork, congratulations, you have become aware that you are doing it. Now is the time to stop it. The negative chatter doesn’t help you, it lowers your energy and it often makes you want to do it even less.
You can “trick” your mind by using affirmations – for example by saying “I love networking, I look forward to meeting new people, bet they have interesting stories, it’s going to be fun”. At first, it may feel a bit strange and the monkey brain may come back with some cynical chatter but go with it. Imagine you are going to meet some good friends that you haven’t seen in a while. Tell your monkey brain that you are going to enjoy it, you’ll find something fun about it and ask it to play along.
“Fear is excitement without the breath”(1) so take a deep breath. Step into the room with a big smile and meet some interesting new people. Happy Networking!
1) A wonderful quote by Gay Hendricks in his book “The Big Leap”