“Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud. Be you!” ~Shannon L. Alder Ironically, the moment you stop comparing, you win. Because as long as you think winning in life is about being better or having more than others, your comparisons hold your happiness hostage. Comparing yourself to others is a race you can never win. Which begs the question: How can you get off the treadmill of “negative comparisons” and redirect your attention from beating up on yourself to bettering your future? Here are a few suggestions.
I used to be afraid of going to the movie theaters alone. Not that I was nervous for my physical safety, but I feared that sitting in the theater as a party of one, I would get awkward side-glances (you know the ones) from fellow moviegoers or somehow enjoy the experience less. So I avoided it. At all costs. Until, for the umpteenth time, I had missed a movie I’d really wanted to see because I couldn’t find someone to go with me. I was tired of missing out on opportunities.
How many times did you hear that growing up? If you’re like most intuitive people, you probably heard it a lot. And, being sensitive is a power! When people tell us we’re too sensitive, they usually mean, “Stop being so emotional.” Or worse, “Your behavior is inappropriate.” In their desire for us to fit in and succeed, well-meaning teachers and caregivers convey a common but destructive message: It’s more important for you to be sensitive to other people than it is for you to be sensitive to yourself.
Here is a hard thing to admit. Sometimes you are the most toxic person in the room. Sometimes, you have allowed the world to bring you down so much that you spew negativity. Sometimes you are the person being cruel to other people. Sometimes you are the person who ends up hurting the person who has done nothing but love you and look after you and be there for you.
Networking: the necessary career evil. It conjures up visions of a crowded room of professionals adorned with name tags and holding glasses of wine. In huddles people exchange business cards and share what they do. This is the default idea of networking, but it is so much more than this. By finding and establishing meaningful, lasting, and mutually beneficial connections, it starts and advances careers. It is all about the follow-up and follow-through: the email, the coffee date, the face-to-face time. We set roadblocks for ourselves when we think about networking as a one-off situation that does not go beneath the surface. In reality, networking is like any good relationship — it requires nurturing and grows over time. Think of it as meeting a new friend or date. What if we re-frame what networking means and separate it from the vision of a forced, formal scenario? Consider the following five ways to think about the true meaning of networking.