It's funny how life works. This post serves as confirmation of everything I mentioned last week when I wrote about how I hate small talk. Days later, I was faced with a number of networking opportunities that I had to ask myself, "Did this just happen?". God must have a great sense of humor. I imagine that he was looking down at me like, "Oh you hate small talk huh? Let me drop some opportunities for you to get over that and see if you learned your lesson."
As the new girl on the block at work, I find myself being introduced to lots of faces with names I probably won't remember. Let's be honest, some faces I won't remember either, but I was introduced to one guy as the new marketing specialist. Without knowing me, my story, or my background, he asked if I could assist with his event. Of course I said yes because I'm an event planner, but then he asked if I could speak on his panel. In my mind I was thinking, "Nah dawg, I'm not a panelist." I hesitated and told him that I'm capable of speaking but that's not really my thing. Yet, he insisted because it's a good opportunity for me to network. Now, I don't know this man from Adam so I don't know if this is a real opportunity; however, the fact that he had more faith in my talents than I did is a problem!!!! *Place a sticky note here so that we can come back to it*
Later that evening, I went to a networking gala to support my CVO and to be honest, I had no idea what to expect; I really just wanted to dress up. I pulled up to the venue and saw the caliber of people going in and immediately got discouraged. I sat in my car trying to figure out a way to sneak through the back door or somehow enter the venue without being noticed. That was a fail! As soon as I walked through the door I was immediately greeted by a woman who welcomed me with open arms. I had no idea who she was, turns out she is one of the officers of the hosting organization. *I learned that from taking my advice from last week* As the night progressed and more unknown faces started to pour in, I had to get over my hatred of small talk or else I would be an awkward girl standing in the corner. I met some phenomenal women and while exchanging stats, I was thinking to myself, "She's a founder, she's a director, she's an attorney, and I'm just a marketing specialist." I sent a text to one of my friends "jokingly" saying, "I don't feel worthy to be in this room right now." Here I am, breaking bread with movers and shakers and I don't even have a business card.
By the time I got in the car, I had to do some major reflection on my entire day. First, nothing grows from the comfort zone, so in order for God to promote me, I have to have faith in God and faith in the talents that he has provided me. Second, I realized that I placed limitations on myself and my abilities throughout the day. I dimmed my own light when I declined being a panelist. I never know who I'm supposed to bless with my messages. I (because I'm holding myself accountable) need to continue to show up and think of these engagements as an opportunity to be a blessing to others. The fact that a complete stranger had more faith in my talents, that he has never witnessed, let's me know that I have some work to do. I know I'm not alone on this issue so WE have to start displaying and showcasing our greatness. The greatest lesson that I learned yesterday is that I'm not just anything and I should NEVER introduce myself that way.
The word just used as an adverb places limitations on my capabilities. I am not limited to being a marketing specialist. I am amazing at a lot of different things, a [Jess] of all trades. I encourage us to only use just as an adjective. The words just and righteous translate into the SAME thing. According to the bible, the righteous are JUST. That means we are just the same, just as good, just as righteous. So, if you are ever in the same room as established people that you unconsciously placed on a pedestal, and you don't feel worthy to be there, remember that you are JUST as righteous. We all have an individual journey and we all have a unique story to tell. Whether you are just or righteous, you are a human on a journey that can bless someone else regardless of your race, gender, size, age, etc. I'll leave you with this post that I ran across the morning after my epiphany...