Vivian entered the room with trepidation. She had been to networking events like this before, and she always left feeling worse than she had than when she entered.
But this time was different, wasn’t it? After all, she was sporting a brand new killer outfit, and a much smaller waistline. She looked great and felt even better.
Despite her new appearance, Vivian realized she was still the same ole’ her inside; shy, nervous, not particularly interested in small talk, and resentful of people who Vivian believed judged her based on her size and refused to give the person inside a chance.
Shortly after arriving at the event, Vivian chose to leave, opting instead for the comfort of her home and her former best friend, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
What was the point of all of her hard work to lose weight if she still wasn’t able to meet people?
A different perspective.
As she was leaving, Vivian bumped in to a former coworker, Marcus. Unlike Vivian, Marcus was pleasantly surprised by his experiences at the networking event. It appeared as though his new approach was paying off.
In the past, he would just sign up and attend events like these without putting a whole lot of thought into his mindset for the event, and just like Vivian, he would often leave disappointed.
But this time he tried something new. He took a look at how he perceived himself, identified and tweaked a few outdated beliefs, and made a conscious decision to be intentional about certain expectations for the event.
In the past his expectations, when he had them, centered around outcomes, but this time he decided to create them around how he related to the event. And if the number of people who asked him for his information and later reached out to personally connect was any indication, his new approach was a winner.
Why the different experiences?
Vivian and Marcus may have attended the same event, but their experiences were very different. Why?
Was it because Marcus had a ‘can-do’ attitude, whereas Vivian took a defeatist approach? Perhaps.
But Vivian didn’t arrive at the event feeling defeated. She might not have been excited to network, but she felt good about herself and her appearance. It wasn’t until experiencing the event for a while that Vivian decided to leave.
Marcus was trying out a new approach, and it seemed to be working for him. This alone might have given Marcus a positive impression of the event. But the changes he had made in preparation might have also had something to do with his good experiences.
What did Marcus do that Vivian didn’t? He focused on two primary things; identifying and relating.
Identifying and Relating.
Both Vivian and Marcus held some beliefs about themselves and others that affected their behavior at the event. These actions impacted how they related to their external environment.
And here is where Vivian and Marcus differed: In Vivian’s case, the way she related to her external environment resulted in an experience that wasn’t so great, whereas for Marcus, it was much more positive.
For Vivian, her perception of those experiences reinforced her already existing beliefs about these types of events, as well as some potentially outdated beliefs about herself.
Marcus, on the other hand, had made a conscious decision before the event to shift some counter-productive beliefs, his perceptions confirmed the potential success of his efforts. It might be too soon for his perceptions to have created new beliefs, but they were a great first step in dispelling his old ones.
So what exactly did Marcus do to create these new beliefs, behaviors, experiences and perceptions?
This is the focus of our new topic; Facilitating Personal Change Through Identifying and Relating.
Future posts in this topic will cover:
About the Author
Megan Rounds, Ed.D. is owner and principle perculator of perculcha, llc.
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