Many months ago I was talking with a friend on the phone. She shared about her desire to start her own business. We talked, and eventually I lovingly asking her, “What’s holding you back from starting your own business?”
She knew what was holding her back. She didn’t hesitate to answer. We talked about her hesitation, and together we talked through some ideas of what would help to possibly reduce her hesitation, and eventually to help her bring about the dream that she so desired.
As we parted ways in our phone call, she said, “You really helped to bring clarity into things I’ve already been thinking about. I guess I really just needed someone to bounce these ideas off of and help me put together the pieces of the puzzle that I’ve been unsure about, that have been floating around in my mind.”
Some times in life we need a listening ear. Sometimes, we just need a person to hear us for whatever it is we say, to bounce ideas off of. At times, we all need to verbally share so that together we can enhance or project an idea that’s already been brewing. Life has a way of bringing about things when we choose to share with others and learn together.
Virtually a month later I got a text from my friend saying, “I’m moving forward with starting my own business!” She elaborated more, sharing what all had stemmed and flowered from the ideas we’d discussed on our last phone call. She had a plan, a goal, and was moving forward. Within 6 months she’d started her business. Today, she’s successfully doing what she loves and blessing every life she interacts with. And let me say, despite being states away, I get to watch through social media how much she and the clients she serves LOVE what she is doing. It’s a win-win for both!
My point in sharing this story is that we ALL learn from each other. My friend and I learn from each other, it goes both ways. Maybe you’ve had experiences where you’ve gotten the chance to learn from others when you were too scared to take a chance on yourself, or on someone and share ideas because you didn’t think your ideas were good enough? Maybe your a person that chooses to stay silent and doesn’t share ideas, but you have them tucked inside. If so, are those ideas waiting to come out?
Well, I’ve got some news for the media. I used to be a complete introvert. What ideas I did have I didn’t share because of being afraid of getting made fun of, and being rejected and hurt in the past. It was easier to keep my ideas and thoughts to myself than to share them with others. Let’s just sum it up that “stuffing” didn’t work out so well for me. I learned that I needed to share my ideas despite others possibly deeming those as “unworthy, dumb, or unworkable”, or any other reduced comment to bring a girl down.
Everybody has ideas. Did you know that by choosing not to make a decision we are actually making a decision? It’s true. We are making a decision to NOT make a decision. Uffta.
For some people, some things or areas of life come easier, and for others they don’t come easily. We are all uniquely different, and that’s the beauty of it! Why? Because we all get to learn from each other via the stories we share, the experiences we have, and in our interactions with one another sharing ideas and life. If we aren’t willing to share, how are we going to grow as individuals? How are we going to grow as friends? How are we going to grow as communities? How are we going to grow as nations?
Putting it out there.
Have you ever put yourself out there in order to form a new friendship? What happened? Did you and the friend connect and form a deep friendship? Did you connect and then, over time, it became longer between times of connecting? Did the person not want to connect anymore? Did the person not respond to your attempt at connecting? The possibilities of connection are innumerable and unknowable as to how they will evolve.
We were designed to be in relation with people, real live people. That is how God made us, relational human beings. Why do you think God did this? I personally have a lot of theories, but I KNOW one of them is because we were designed to rub shoulders with one another- meaning getting intimately connected to those we are within reach of. That being said, we were meant to learn from and share life with those we interact with.
I don’t know about you, but I learn from people every single day. In my job as a Massage Therapist, I most often have people on my table that are battling pain. They are relying on me to help them with their pain. Yes, I’m a therapist and know a lot of techniques and learn much from my clients as well, but every single person is uniquely different. So guess what? I’m learning what works or doesn’t work for every last one of my clients in every session. That is a LOT of learning… and I absolutely love it!
Not only that, but I have the honor of hearing whatever my client wants to share with me. Sometimes it’s really personal stuff, other times it can get pretty deep, and other times its more surface conversations. No matter what, I get to learn from them and sometimes they ask me questions too. So, they learn things about me and my life as well. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I LOVE my job and how I get to connect with so many people. Guess I really have become more of an extrovert in my years, ha!
If you would, think with me about the last time that you took a chance on someone. Maybe it was a friend, your spouse, a relative, or a complete stranger. What made you take that chance to connect with them? What held you back from making a connection with them? Pause for reflections…
…Once you have identified your ‘why’, what was the outcome of your choice? Did the person want to connect, or didn’t they? Did they not respond, or did their response surprise you? Did you get too scared to ask, too afraid of the unknown? Wow, the mind is a very powerful place to live, for the better or for the worse, depending.
I’m not here to tell you what’s right or wrong. I truly believe you know what’s right and wrong for yourself deep in your heart. I just know for myself that by taking a chance and connecting with someone, and not knowing where the conversation may lead, we BOTH have opportunity to learn from one another even in ALL the uncertainties. Are we willing to learn from one another, to look at each other as equals, with neither being better than the other?
Today as I connect with you, I’m being authentic and real. I’m always doing this with you, but each time it’s a bit different in what I share here. I want to challenge both you and myself this week to connect with someone, taking a chance on someone. This person may be an old friend, a potential new friend, a relative you haven’t talked to in a while, a co-worker that you haven’t talked to, or a complete stranger, whoever! My challenge for each of us to connect with that someone and carry on a conversation is so that we make a real connection with them and learn something personal about them and their life. Learn something that is meaningful to them. Learn something about them that you causes your heart to make a connection with them. When we make connections with people, we are broadening our hearts and opening our minds for difference. And differences CAN be a really good thing to learn from. Learn something about this person that you didn’t already know. In doing this, we are making them feel perhaps appreciated, loved, and hey, maybe you’ve just made a new friend too!
Learning from people has truly changed my life from the inside out. It surely beats stuffing my thoughts and keeping my ideas bundled up inside. Maybe it has yours too? As we part ways on this beautiful day, I challenge you to connect with someone. I will be doing to the same. I’d love to hear how the experiment went if you want to take the time to share how you connected with and learned something with this special someone. You just never know whom you might meet, what they’ll say, or what friendship you may make. Seize the opportunity and make someone’s day! You never know, you just may make your own day as well!
2 thoughts on “Learn From Everyone”
Great post Kelly. You hit me on the head when you talked about fear of being ridiculed or made fun of. That is something that some of us in particular have to work thru. Your strength helps all of us. Thank you.
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Thank you and thank you for sharing, Tom!!