"IF YOU FEEL DISCONNECTED, IT'S YOUR FAULT."
He said it, Yes he did.
I heard it and I was in shock. Someone said it out loud and from a stage. It is what I have been feeling and saying to my coaching clients for years.
"If you feel DISCONNECTED, it's YOUR FAULT."
I coach women as part of my career. I often hear things like:
"I have no friends."
"No one likes me."
"I'm never included."
"I don't fit in".
"I don't feel connected".
"I'm left out"
While I believe feelings are valid and need to be discussed, I'm going to stand with my pastor on this.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO THRIVE?
He happened to be speaking about church life, church involvement, and church culture. However, I truly feel it applies to all areas of life.
What we prioritize will thrive. Relationships. Marriage. Parenting. Business. Hobbies. Friendships. Goals.
The good news is, you can have more than one priority. I don't believe you have to choose between being a good mom and having sweet friendships. I don't believe you have to choose between building a business or connecting. Time management and smart scheduling allow you to do what you want. You CAN make connection a priority, and be successful at it while navigating a busy life.
Don't believe the lies that the enemy is whispering in your ear. He does NOT want you to connect, be successful, be fulfilled, be involved, have friendships, and thrive. He likes it when you are alone, miserable, sad, living in offense, and disconnected.
SO MANY WAYS TO CONNECT
There are multiple ways to connect. In a church setting, there are volunteer opportunities, activities, events, and more. What if you don't see something you like? Offer to start it.
They are just there WAITING for you. Jump in and connect. IF you choose not to participate, that is YOUR choice. NO ONE else is to blame for the disconnection.
Here are a few key points that I think are important to remember.
1. If you aren't feeling connected, it's YOUR job to connect. It's no one else's job to chase you.
2. If you feel alone, find a way to serve.
3. To have friends, you have to BE a friend. You can't expect people just to pursue you.
4. If there are people you have tried to connect with and they won't return the attention, they are just not your people. Find your like-minded people. What are your passions and hobbies? What beliefs do you share?
5. If you feel like you never get invited, turn the table. Organize a get-together, plan an event, have a party...and YOU be the one doing the inviting.
6. This sounds elementary...but to be liked, be LIKEABLE. Be friendly, smile, chat, look up from the safety net of your phone.
7. Don't fall into a victim mentality. It's unhealthy and no one wants to hang with an Eeyore personality.
8. There are SO many people looking for friends. A tribe. A place to belong. They are WAITING on you too.
9. If you see pictures on social media and feel left out, let it go. Plan something and post your own fun pictures. You don't have to be a left out, plan B person with a victim mindset. You are fun, interesting, and worth hanging with. They aren't your people.
10. If you are feeling lonely when was the last time you asked your neighbor to take a walk? Invited someone to dinner? Asked a friend for a coffee date? Volunteered?
11.. Ok, are you ready for this one? Remember, just take what is for you. Are you someone that people enjoy being around? Are you friendly? Do you only talk about yourself? Do you interrupt people when they are talking? Do you show interest in others? Do you talk SO much that people can't get away? Do you complain constantly about family, health, or other issues as your only topic of conversation? Are you negative? I know these may sound harsh. But occasional self-evaluation is healthy for EVERYONE.
12. Pastors have SO much on their plate with teaching, helping, and caring for the flock. Don't put unfair expectations on them to meet all of your needs and get you connected. That's your job. Look for ways to help and bless them. They are not cruise activity social directors.
Now, I realize some might read this and it may sting. Take a deep breath, and don't fall into the trap of offense. Just take from it what was meant for you. And GIRL... et out there. Your people are waiting. YOU have SO much to offer!