So as another year “March-es” forward, it is time to let go of remembering the times when networking didn’t work, (or the people who didn’t return your call, email, or request for help). Time to let go of imagining the worst case networking scenario, the fear of being rejected, disappointed, taking a risk, making a mistake, (readers, feel free to add your own fears here…). And yes, you need to let go of fearing what will happen if you become a successful networker—(thinking: “Ugh, what will I do with all those new people in my work-life? What will they want of my time, my connections, of me!”).
Thoughts are powerful. If you want to make networking easy, you need to take charge and look at those negative thoughts (fears and experiences) that are holding you back. Identify and get specific about one or two networking activities you know would help your career, but you are more comfortable not doing. Then imagine what it would be like to try one of those networking activities and have a positive experience. What would have to happen to make that possible—such as attending an event with a few friends who promise to stay nearby and introduce you to 2 people? Is it writing a script and then rehearsing with a member of your network on how to make that call or write that email to a blog editor or a speaker’s bureau?