(Excerpts ) by JenniferKushell
So many things run through your head about where you are, where you're headed,who you're with (or not with), what you should be doing, achieving, what kindof people you should be hanging around.
Those "I should" voices in your head can really mess with your life and career choices.
Your social and career status has a lot to do with your environment and the influences you're exposed to on a regular basis. If you're not happy with where you are, shake things up. Meeting new people and expanding your social circle is so much easier than most people think.
First, let's look at a problem. Just imagine yourself living in a bubble. (Because we all sort of are to some extent). Everyone you know and interact with is in that bubble of yours. How often do you step or reach beyond it? Talk to someone outside? Go somewhere foreign? Engage with groups outside of that bubble? Ifyou do this all the time, then this is more an issue for your friends than foryou, but there's a real opportunity here for all of us.
If you're one ofthose people who live safely in that bubble of yours – see the same people, dothe same things, over and over and over – you're really missing out.
it's time to start making some changes now.
And please keep in mind, ifyou're not the one who needs to get outside your own bubble more, think abouthelping your friends out by leveraging your own charm and social fearlessness!
1. Look at the patterns you're stuck in. Where are you typicallygoing? What are you doing? Who with?
2. Consider what's been stopping you from venturing beyond. Be brutally honest withyourself. Is it fear, lack of confidence? Not knowing were else to go orwhat to do?
3. Think about your objectives. What do you want to achieve by expanding your circle? Newclients, better connections, more friends, more interesting activities, findthe love of your life, just have some fun? Use your answers to focus yourefforts on new opportunities that are most likely to surround you with theright type of people.
4. Consider all the places these people you'd like to spend more time aroundspend their time. From coffee shops, to restaurants, to stores, to athletic spots,conferences, etc. Pop in. Get yourself there. Bring a friend if youneed to for confidence. Most of these places are no big deal to just walkinto and sit down.
5. Start talking to new people everywhere you go. Smile more. Open yourselfup to conversations with strangers (just not creepy ones!) Notice your bodylanguage. Sometimes just your shoulder placement, direction of your head,angling of your body can send off strong signals to others that say "stay away"or "come say hi". Don't shut yourself off from outsiders. Startengaging more.
6. Be strategic too. Mingle, bump into, plant yourself by interesting looking peopleintentionally. Then do all the things I just mentioned above.
7. Find a great wingman or wingwoman. Not just for prospective dates either! I do this with friends all the time. The shy ones to tell me who theywant to meet and I go make it happen. It's just happens to be easy forme. But I would never know to offer "my services" if friends didn't openup to me about this in the first place. A lot of people are actually somuch more timid than they look! Trust me, you're not alone.
8. Talk to some friends and colleagues who are super connected and socialand outgoing. Tell them inconfidence what you're thinking, feeling, craving. Enlist theirhelp. Tell them you want to meet new people, do new things, and expandyour circle. Explain your objectives. Ask to spend more time withthem and their world.
9. Start finding pockets of people, new venues, events, social andprofessional groups that you find intriguing. Find an excuse to go! Checkthem out. Wander in. "Act as if" you belong there as much as anyoneelse. Don't feel like an outsider.
10. Stop saying "no" to new and different. Embrace them. Startthinking about these little exploratory expeditions into adventures. Somewill be strange or duds, but others will be interesting and evenwonderful. It's all good though when you're expanding your circle andengaging with the outside world more.
Try it out. Let me knowwhat you find. Or how you're helping friends out. I'd love to hearyour own experiences!