Emails.

To-do lists.

Meetings.

Endless tasks that can overwhelm you as you engage in the cycle of busy.

Yet, when it comes to deep connection, most people don’t create the time in their calendar to build relationships.

You can’t build a network when you need one.

Let me repeat that – you can’t build a network when you need one.

Relationships are part of what will sustain you in business and life. 

Recent research shows that the life expectancy rate in the United States stopped increasing in 2010 and has been declining for the past 3 years in a row!

That hasn’t happened for over a 100 years since the flu epidemic of 1918.

So what’s happening?

One research group calls it “deaths of despair” as the trio of alcohol abuse, suicide, and drug overdoses have hit the 25 – 34 year old age group hard.

Relationships keep us upright. They give us hope.

Deep connection with another human being creates a sense of purpose which is why Abraham Maslow identified “Love and Belonging” as a necessity after you’ve got food, water, and a job.

If that’s true, why do so many people put connection near the bottom of their to-do list?

Recently I asked a client why business development was such a struggle, asking what she was most afraid of happening.

She said she didn’t want to be rejected or bother people.

I get it.

As someone who spent decades trying to twist myself into a pretzel to make other people happy, the idea of hearing “no” was never pleasant for me.

Yet, I’ve learned that my fear was designed to keep me safe.

However, I’m not out for a comfortable life. I’m out to make a bigger positive difference in the world and that takes risk. It takes putting myself out there openly and vulnerably and having someone say “no, thank you.”

When I asked her what was the worst thing that could happen – and the best thing that could happen by reaching out to connect, it didn’t seem quite so scary.

In the worst case scenario, the fact was, life would continue to move forward as it always had.

And what if she were the biggest blessing in that person’s day?

What if she were the reason they took a break from their stressful day, and she was able to leave the world a bit better just by her reaching out to connect?

She smiled and let out a little chuckle.

At that moment, she realized her fear of “no” didn’t seem that deep. Simultaneously she realized the potential for her have a positive impact WAS deep.

Moving past her discomfort of possible rejection might have a huge reward (for her and the other person) and likely a long tail of positive effects following it.

Connection is not a nice-to-have in business and life; it is a must-have.

Bring it closer to the top of your list of things that are important.

Action

The Upside Challenge of the week is to schedule time to pick up the phone this week.

Connect with 3 people you’ve been “afraid to bother” or hesitant to call for fear of a “no, thanks.”

Make a note of how it went.

If it went well, spend time enjoying that feeling.

Notice how it plays forward in your day.

Schedule time in your calendar next week. And the week after… Because… The world needs you and your brilliance.

Leave a Comment