I’ve been to a ton of networking events in my life. With over a decade of experience in the corporate world in branding and marketing, I’ve certainly seen my share of conferences intended to bring like-minded people together. This past Saturday, I was a vendor and panel speaker at the Women Building Wealth Conference at The Spoke Club. And I must say. There was something different about this one.
It felt magical to share the room and stage with inspiring speakers and engaged attendees. And even more powerful were the connections we made over sharing and embracing similar experiences and life journeys.
There’s something empowering about sharing stories with other people, only to find a common string that ties you together despite having just met. This event was about sharing our financial setbacks and successes but it became so much more. After all, everything is connected – our finances, love lives, careers, our relationships with others and most importantly, the relationships we have with ourselves. Our conversations about money led to open dialogues about so much more. And that’s where shit got real.
We shared the mindsets that we’ve been hanging onto that have been holding us back. We bonded over confessions of failed relationships and business challenges. We also connected over sharing our wins and dreams – the things we’ve done that we’re proud of, have shaped us into successful and strong women and where we want to go from there.
Throughout the day, I asked anyone who popped by my table to share their intentions by writing them out on a piece of paper and adding that paper to our collective bowl of intentions. We talked about those dreams, wishes and desires and I could see the common thread between us getting clearer and clearer.
Your job title, where you’re heading in your career and where you’ve been – doesn’t really matter.
The house you live in, the car you drive, the clothes you wear – doesn’t really matter.
That thing you failed at, the relationship that ended, the job you lost – doesn’t really matter.
We all want to be successful.
And at some time, we all worry that we’re not good enough.
We may all have different definitions of success based on what we want to achieve – bigger, better and more X, Y and Z – but we’re all looking to fulfill our own personal definition of success.
We compare ourselves to others and make assumptions, imagining how we stack up. We compare our insides to their outsides. We compare how we feel to how they appear to be in the world.
It’s only when we open up and get real with people who can be raw and honest with us, that we begin to see that we’re not alone.
We need to have those tough conversations – the ones that reveal our aches and pains about ourselves and how we perceive ourselves in the world.
We need to have those conversations with people who see us beyond all the circumstances we define ourselves by, the stories we’ve created about who we are and what we can and can’t do.
We need others to shed light on what we’ve been through and we need them to point out our strengths in what we would otherwise perceive as our weaknesses.
We need to recognize ourselves in others and see that we’re all battling our own demons and chasing our own dreams.
When we do this – when we connect with people who are going through and have shared similar experiences – we begin to see that we don’t have to struggle through things alone. We begin to see that we’re connected to each other in ways that can help us see our own situations differently.
So spill your fears and desires with the people who can walk with you along your path – if even for a brief moment in time. Allow yourself to open up to the possibility that you’re not the only one dealing with the things you’re having difficulty with.
Allow yourself to be seen and heard because that space where we open up and reveal ourselves – that space is magical.