There is a big difference between networking and becoming obsessed with climbing the social ladder.
One has the potential to create an opportunity for personal/career growth and the other gives you a high, followed by a drastic low.
Why is that?
Well, because when you become obsessed with making connections to “get” something socially; status, invites, shout outs, a step-up in your social circle, or whatever else falls into this category, you’ve become a slave to the emotional ties of false self-worth that are attached to this dangerous game.
I’ll be honest, nothing turns me off more than when I sense that someone is obsessed with being associated with certain people because they want something from them. However, it’s unfair of me to judge someone based on that alone. After giving it some thought, because let’s face it, I’ve seen a lot of this over the past 10 years from living in Nashville and then the heart of the city here in Dallas, I’ve realized the feeling I genuinely have is more of a sadness for those who cling to this lifestyle.
I’ll tell you why.
When I lived in Nashville, my friend group went from locals who hang out at Tin Roof every weekend to country music artists or women who married athletes or artists. Because Nashville is a small-big city, it was normal to be around that. In fact, it wasn’t until the last few months I lived there that I realized my friends, myself included, thrived off of the success of a few. We were genuinely happy for our friends. They worked so hard to become successful in an industry where only about 1% actually “make it”. But you know where that left the rest of us? Stuck. We saw the lights, the attention and the demand; leading us to neglect the normalcy of our own lives. Suddenly, we weren’t content because normal wasn’t good enough. Which, may I be sure to add, is really sad.
God led me to Texas to get my head on straight. I thank Him for that every day. Recently, I was in Nashville and had the chance to see how beautifully my friends have grown. Everyone seems to have not only discovered their own path, but have embraced the success of our friends while remaining true to what makes them amazing. I have the most wonderful friends. They are gifted, loving and bring so much to the table. Many of them talk about the years when we were young idiots and how thankful we are that we moved past that stage of life. I see them settling down, growing in their careers and enjoying life in a more down-to-earth way.
That’s the hope I have for everyone. So if you are stuck in the stage of being a slave to what or who you think is “cool” this message is for you.
You are AMAZING. God made you perfect in your own right. He has gifted you with qualities that will allow you to glorify him and help build others up. He desperately wants you to tap into those gifts and blossom into the most genuine and unique version of yourself. When you embrace that, I can promise you will find the richness of your life and you will thrive. It is there you will find true joy and happiness. It is there you will feel content. It is there you will realize your worth and will no longer feel the need to use others to get that “high”. The emotional ties of relying on others for your self-worth will fade away.
When you become the best version of yourself, others will flock to you. Networking will become easy and people around you will see the transparency of your good intentions.
Nothing is more attractive than someone who has absolutely no ulterior motives.
The best part? You will rid yourself of the desperate attachment you have clung to in order to feel like you are special. You will finally understand that your greatness does not lie in the hands of others. The fullness of life comes from giving people the truest you. It comes from the confidence that YOUR life can absolutely bless others.
So today, make the decision to embrace the person God has intended you to be. There is only one you. You have a purpose in this world and that purpose is not found in the hands of others. People who shine from within don’t need the spotlight.
This is your time to shine.
photos: Melissa Fay Photography