I’m sure we are all aware of the power of perspective. It’s where we apply the phrases “glass half full” or “glass half empty”. But what a change of perspective can also do is give us the opportunity to connect with others and build a community.
When you first walk into a new group of people, what do you feel or think? Are you intimidated and begin doubting yourself and your right to be with that group? Or are you inspired and encouraged to network and build relationships? There are so many variables that can contribute to how you might act – your mood that day, the people you’re with, the physical environment of the space you’re gathering…
I was recently a part of a summer sports league and was easily the least experienced player on my team. When I first walked onto the field in anticipation of our first game, it wasn’t long before I realized that a lot of these players were, for lack of a better term, really good. I knew I had a lot to learn. I was blessed that my team was extremely encouraging and supportive and, as a result, I grew a lot in my confidence and ability as a player.
On the day of the tournament, I spent the entire day with my team. I got the opportunity to sit and get to know some of my teammates as we had a lot of down time in between games. What I found was that I didn’t take full advantage of my time with them during the regular season. Because I lost the opportunities to get to know some pretty incredible human beings. I was intimidated by their skills and kept a pretty low profile as I didn’t want to take up too much room. I saw myself as a beginner and a learner and, sometimes, compared my abilities with the other players which proved to be discouraging.
In the creative world, it’s easy to compare your work with the works of others. When we compare, we miss out on building relationships with others because we’re either intimidated or feel competitive. It’s easy to feel discouraged or shut down. But what I want to see in this community is open conversations where we share our struggles, our failures, our successes and build each other up. And I guarantee you, I am not the only one who wishes to see this for the creative community.
I think that you put yourself in a really vulnerable space when you choose to be fully alive and aware when you meet new people. It takes a lot of strength to put aside any feelings of comparison and competition. I believe that we all have this strength.
I want to be confident enough in myself where I can proudly take up space in a room. I want to be vulnerable to create a safe space for others to also be vulnerable and confident. Because when I choose to connect with others instead of compare, I end up meeting some really amazing people.
What I want to encourage you to do is to not be afraid of taking up space.
You have so much to offer and you have so much to learn.
So next time you’re met with new faces, pause and reflect – do you want to connect or do you want to compare? You’ll be surprised with what kinds of doors may open up when you choose to connect.