“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
~ Marcel Proust
I participated in a discussion this week focused on relationship building as the evolution of networking. I had the opportunity to share my perspective on relationship building and how it has enabled me in my various roles. During the session, I shared that I am a 30 Extravert on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, but dislike networking. I am not good at small talk, I like to go deep with people. I don’t like striking up conversations just to meet someone for a purpose. I like getting to know people, what makes them tick, something about them that I can connect with.
I responded to some questions, one which asked how you build relationships with people who really don’t like. I did talk about not burning bridges, but I wouldn’t go deep if I didn’t trust someone. I would keep it very much at the surface.
During the session we talked about being authentic. I am very aligned these days so I believe my authenticity comes through. I know I connect with people. But for a very long time, I was out of alignment. I tried to hide who I was, my heart. I tried to be tougher than I was. I had a boss who once asked me if I chewed nails for breakfast. I couldn’t believe it since I am really sensitive, I internalize a lot.
Over the years, I have worked on me so much that I am no longer someone who chews nails for breakfast. I allow my softer side to come through. And in becoming more me, I realize that for some time I didn’t think I was worthy for others to meet. Why would someone want to build a relationship with me?
I mentioned that during the session and read a quote from a book. As I read this I gazed around the room. The 60 or so heads just nodded. Many far away looks, many pensive faces. I realized at that moment that this concept of being worthy enough for someone else to want to meet and build a relationship with you resonated. I looked around the room and realized that the men who were there had left. I shared that as women, we so tend to sell ourselves short. We don’t think we are worthy, when we are. You don’t hear men say “I’m not worthy.” But all of these women were thinking it!
We need to all look at ourselves through new eyes. We need to see ourselves the way others see us. We need to look at ourselves with loving eyes.
As we do that, we have more confidence and will build more relationships. These relationships can become central to our lives or steps to other places. But they all can only happen with new eyes.