Networking know-how: Expect to be inspired

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Filed under: Canright Blog

Networking know-how: Expect to be inspired

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Putting yourself out there and trying something new can be scary. Some people fear change or failure, while others struggle to get past their comfort zone when tackling something new. Whatever it is, many of us often hold ourselves back from new experiences. I know I have. And networking often puts us right up against our fears of new experiences.

And you know what? It’s ironic, because we are actually programmed to seek new people and ideas.

I’ve been an ongoing student of some of the research on what our brains like and dislike, and I’ve found that our gray matter enjoys exposure to novel ideas and new situations. In fact, certain areas of our brain light up when we experience something new. (Full disclosure: I learned this from my coach, Dr. Judith Wright of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, who seems to always be on the cutting edge of this kind of research.)

As a business owner and entrepreneur, my days are unpredictable, hard and sometimes can be overwhelming, and with fear of the unexpected. That’s why I’m always looking for new ways to help me deal with the challenging aspects of my day. One big strategy is to prepare how I’ll orient to my day.

So how do I battle my fears? One way is that I actively seek inspiration. I counteract my sense of overwhelm with new and interesting ideas. I literally light up my brain, and my mood, by seeking new ideas, even in the face of any fear I feel.

We host an inspiration meeting every Monday at our business, Canright Communications. Our employees take turns presenting something that inspires them, which might include TED Talks, a cool quote or a moving scene from a favorite film. We all leave the meeting feeling a bit more educated, cultured and informed. And oftentimes, quite inspired.

The same rings true when I attend a networking event, which used to be quite scary for me.

But now I know the inspiration I receive from attending these events vastly overshadows any fear. I find that when I orient to what’s new and inspiring, I’m actively handling any anxiety I may feel.

I’ve learned to intentionally pursue making contact with people and ideas that inspire me. I believe we can find inspiration anywhere and at any time. We just have to look. We don’t have to wait for it to come find us. And isn’t that the beauty of inspiration?

Note: If you’re interested in keeping up with some of the most interesting networking events around Chicago, the Canright Networking Calendar has been keeping networkers informed since 2010.