Recently I read an article over at the Collective Hub by Tess Robinson, founder of Smack Bang Designs. And it was all about networking in the business world, with 9 tips that are far from your traditional schmooze-&-booze tactics. It was a really refreshing read on basically being genuine and connecting with likeminded people to create real relationships and incubate an awesome community where all involved benefit from one another (sounds flipping awesome right!!!).
One of my favourite tips was 'build your own vibe'. This got me thinking about my vibe. For a long time, my vibe was contrived. Wrapped up in insecurities. Unable to fully be unleashed. My vibe was more like zings of intimidation, fear, lack of courage, unrealistic expectation and more.
What I have realised is, that the very thing I always desired –genuine connection– was always jeopardised by my own fear of not being worthy of that connection. So instead of putting out the authentic, loving, beautiful, passionate vibe I have been created to pulse, I sort of left people feeling awkward and apprehensive towards me (sorry peeps – you know who you are).
Since figuring this out and working towards my genuine and awesome vibe being unleashed, I have had a few 'uh huh' moments, some of which I'd love to share with you:
1. Get the right kind of motivation.
Why do you want friends? Why do you want to be connected to someone? Is it purely for your own self-indulgence? OR are you genuinely interested in investing into other people's lives as well as having someone invest into yours?
I think we can so easily get caught up in what we are getting out of life we forget to think about what we are putting in. If your motivation remains sweet and honest, you'll find genuine connection comes much easier.
And please remember how easy other people can pick up on a lack of authenticity. It is fairly obvious when someone is not in it for the right reasons. The 'real deal' kind of people are refreshing, open, honest, forgiving, unthreatened, happy to see you succeed.
2. Be an advocate for others.
When we feel threatened or insecure, we find it hard to encourage others, especially if they seem to be better off than we are. But that is just the biggest lie we can tell ourselves. Everyone has a story, a journey they are on, struggles they face. No one really knows the depths of pain or fear, insecurity or challenges that other's face or are yet to face. We all have our moments. So instead of comparing your life with other's, focus on how awesome it is to see them succeed and cheer them along.
Just get courageous in going against the norm, and be a bloody good advocate for other people! If you want people to cheer you on, then get out your cheerleading uniform, shake off the dust and start being that for someone else. But please make sure it is genuine! Don't be prickly, leaving the other person sensing the wrong condescending or fake vibe.
Anyone who gets 'popular' any other way is probably very lonely and miserable on the inside, because it doesn't last when it's not real, and it definitely doesn't last when it is based in anything other than a genuine desire to see each other do well.
3. Don't be flakey.
Can you speak your mind, completely divorced from 'hidden agendas'? Can you give open and honest feedback, communicate in a truthful way that is edifying? Does your word remain consistent? Or are you always changing your opinion depending on the person you are talking to? This has been one of my biggest challenges. How do I let go of all my own filters and fears in order to genuinely bring truth into a situation? How do I divorce the fear of what other's think in order to have integrity in what I say?
There is a beauty that is incomparable when you connect with someone who just speaks the truth into your world, with nothing but love or sincerity towards you, detached from any sort of agenda or insecurity.
It is not about upholding your opinion, and fighting people on topics of conversation just to get your view across. It is not about agreeing with everyone and having no opinion. It is about grace, integrity, dignity and SUBSTANCE! Sometimes you have to be silent, sometimes you need to speak up. The most important thing is to discern this balance and bring your honest words to the table without all the baggage, and respect other's in the process. People will be more inclined to ask of your opinion if you can bring the substance with grace.
4. Stop hijacking the conversation.
Sometimes I catch myself listening to a friend, only to figure out how to overlay my opinion, or make sure I am heard on the topic, or insert some sort of affirmation about who I am in the mix. But we all know how much it sucks to be on the receiving end of this... feeling like someone really isn't listening to you, but rather waiting to interrupt or inject their agenda, so the conversation winds up flat and empty.
Let's not be the sort of people that listen just to be self-indulgent. Let's really listen. Let other people share their story and then speak from a place of genuine interest and truth on the topic rather than trying to prove or demonstrate our own story. Ask them questions about their experiences, be invested in what they have to contribute. Leave your story for another day. It is so refreshing when you can let go and just be present in someone's world. And what you give to them in those moments will be much more effective.
Please share your own thoughts or tips on the topic of vibes and how they can either bring great connection or isolate us from others. I'd love to hear how you have triumphed or struggled in this area.
Love Heids Xx