Last night I went to networking event. Do I need clients you ask? No. Do I need to make sure the thirty women in the room know about FLI? That would be nice. So why did I – Rhonda Britten – go to a networking event geared toward women when the last thing I wanted to do was stand up and say, “Hi. I’m Rhonda Britten, Life Coach” in a room full of strangers? Because I need friends.
And that’s how it began.
In truth, I have enough best friends, even good friends. The challenge is all of them live in other cities. Marta is in Los Angeles and so is my writing group. Dawnmarie lives in Chicago. Bonnie lives in Phoenix. My sister Cindy lives in Idaho and my other sister, Linda, lives in Virginia. So I don’t need anyone to tell my deep dark secrets to, yet I do need someone to catch a movie with or have a cup of tea or go for a hike.
I know what all of you are thinking…what about Mr. Love-A-Lot? Yes, Mr. Love-A-Lot and I do a lot of things together but sometimes I just need a little girl time. And he needs boy time, or should I say, manly men time.
I knew I had to reach out, stretch and be a beginner once again when ever fiber of my being was yelling:”NOOOOOOOOOO, I don’t want to go.” I knew I had to. I couldn’t let my Wheel of Fear keep me isolated for another minute.
As you might remember, I have been living with Mr. Love-A-Lot for several months now and for most of that time, we have been busy doing some renovations to his home. That was my excuse. I was creating my nest, building a life with Mr. Love-A-Lot. Well, that’s done and my life is going well so every reason not to connect with some female strangers was taken away.
So when Sara, my mortgage broker, called to invite me (she’s the one who never made me feel stupid when I was buying my condo a couple months ago) I knew it was time to put on a smile, get my greeting handshake ready and enjoy some good ol’ fashion small talk. First challenge was what to wear. No Andy Paige in sight so I had to decide for myself. Dress to impress or casual cute jeans. I, of course, wanted to wear the dress. Mr. Love-A-Lot suggested I go with the jeans and he gently reminded me we live in the mountains not the city. I wore the jeans.
I have to admit when I first walked in I wanted to walk right out. My Wheel of Fear was trying to convince me that I would have nothing in common with these particular women so finding a friend would be impossible. I knew that was a lie but don’t think for a minute I didn’t want to listen. Heck, if I listened I could save myself thirty bucks and go home and snuggle with Mr. Love-A-Lot. That’s when Sara appeared and with a smile on her face began to introduce me to the women who were gathered around the sign-up table.
“Drat,” I thought. I knew I had to relax. There was no place to hide. It was time to face the music and meet some perfectly nice strangers.
Sidebar: Meeting strangers is nothing new for me. I do it all day long. I meet strangers at my book signings and at weekends, etc. But what I had to face is those strangers know who I am. They are coming to see me. I am already accepted. There is little risk of rejection. So voluntarily going to meet more strangers reminded me how this time everyone at the event was not coming to meet me, in reality, I was coming to meet them. The tables were turned. Rejection might occur.
Back to my story: The minute I gave in to staying, hope washed over me. “Maybe this would be the perfect place to find a friend,” I heard my Wheel of Freedom declare. “Why not give it a chance?”
So what happened? I quit trying to decide who could be my friend and decided instead, to act friendly. It was fun. I laughed. And I was one of the last ones to leave.
Will I go again? Maybe. Did I meet anyone I might connect with again? Yes. I have her business card and now all I have to do is pick up the phone and dial her number and say, “We met at such-and-such and I was wondering if you wanted to grab some coffee or tea in the next week or two?”
Will I hesitate? Sure. Will I do it? Yes.
One thing I know is that I’m human so even though I know I need or even want to do something doesn’t mean I want to jump up and do it now (or ever). Thank goodness I know that is only fear talking and I always, as you do too, have a choice to listen to the voice of freedom. So freedom it is. Will we be friends? Who knows but I will never know until I call.
I think I had more courage to go because I was home but a day from facilitating the Fearless Foundation Weekend. It’s hard to talk about freedom for three intense days and not choose a more powerful path for yourself.
If you haven’t attended a Fearless Foundation Weekend, I am leading one more the second weekend in November in Toronto. The LAST ONE in 2006. And depending on what happens in my life, it might be the last one I lead for awhile.
The Fearless Foundation Weekend is the number one thing you can do for yourself. It is truly a gift that will guide you towards living the life your soul intended. I hope to see you there. Because just like me, I know you might be scared to take a risk or two, but isn’t it time you decided to live your life from freedom rather than fear? I was willing to make some friends. Are you willing to be a friend to yourself?
See you there!