If You Want To Be Successful in Business, Look At What You've Learned From Dating (As seen on thought catalog.com)
Yes, you read the title of this article correctly. Being successful in love goes hand-in-hand with finding success in your career. Seems off-putting at first glance, huh? It’s a concept that took me years to fully understand. Within the past year or so, I’ve found myself in a relationship beyond my wildest expectations and landed a new position that is far above what I thought possible for myself in a new industry. Neither of the two opportunities fell from the sky, I had to first get in tune with my true self.
Who am I? It’s a question we all find ourselves asking at one point or another. To find true love, you must be able to answer that question genuinely. Truth be told, a lot of knowing who you are comes from knowing who you are not. Knowing what you don’t want most often comes from experiences that we like to call failures, but the truth is that we can choose to see these setbacks as opportunities to learn what it is that we don’t want out of life. So, if you find you’re “failing” time and time again in either dating or your career, please realize that as long as you learn a lesson that guides you in a better direction, it’s still a win.
Life is full of lessons, whether we admit it or not. Oftentimes, those lessons follow us wherever we go until we finally pass the test. For me, connection has been an issue in my life for years. I’ve come a long way with it this year, but I still have some room for improvement. I realized that the only way out was in. Yes, you read that right — the only way out of your current struggle is to go within. What I mean is that you have to take the time to sit with yourself and ask, “What is it that’s causing this discord in my life?” Well, for me, the process of self-correcting made me realize that the very grit it would take to find connection in my work life was also mirrored in my dating life. Finding a relationship that felt like home meant I had some real work to do. Here are the lessons I learned:
1. You have to be authentic to connect with people.
The only way to truly connect is to be your true self — that same self that you may have been hiding for years. Hiding who you are can only protect you for so long. Soon enough your authentic self will have your gut screaming to just be.Dating is about connection. In today’s world, men and women are pros at sniffing out a phony. So do yourself a favor and lean in to your true self. The goal is to align with the type of person that matches what you need, but if you’re not honest about who you are, you can only blame yourself when things go south.
You might not even realize that you’re playing to the other person. So many people, myself included, are chronic people pleasers. People pleasers have trouble deciphering what they want out of life and relationships because they always have the other person in mind. It’s time to worry about yourself for once. It’s time to be you. Being authentic no matter the cost is the very thing that will lead you to the love of your life and take you to that next level in your career. How much further would you be if you could truly connect with your coworkers or your customers? Take a look at the most magnetic people that you know — what does that look like?
At the root of it all, the most magnetic and well-respected people have mastered the art of connection. They wear their personality like a badge of honor because they recognize that it’s the very thing that sets them apart from the rest. Be that person. Be the you that you are meant to be and make no apologies about who you are.
2. Speak honestly, even if that means letting someone down.You have to learn to be truthful, no matter what reaction you may get. Ghosting would be eliminated if people found a way to just be honest about how they feel. You may have the best intentions by ghosting someone to spare their feelings, but if you were on the receiving end, wouldn’t you want to know why something didn’t work out?
It may not be the greatest news to hear, but there is real power in knowing exactly where you stand. It allows you to close one door and move to the next thing with all of your energy. No one wants to be stuck wondering if they still have a chance. Give people the courtesy of knowing exactly where they stand with you. Business is no different. There’s nothing worse than someone that over-promises and under-delivers.
Speaking honestly from the start is the most beneficial approach to being respected in the workplace and in the dating world. It may not be easy, it may not always be comfortable, but it will save you from internal warfare in the end.
3. Learn to work through it. Whether it be friendships, romantic relationships or work relationships, the fact is that you can’t go run and hide when things get rocky. Well, you could, but chances are the same type of issue will resurface again and again until you have learned the lesson once and for all.
I’ve always been one to run and hide. I thought that if I could just start over, I would press the reset button and never have to face the things that made me feel uncomfortable. What I learned is that life will test you until you can pass that test successfully, so you may as well buckle down and face what’s in front of you.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Wherever you go, there you are?” All that phrase means is that you cannot outrun your problems, because they will follow you wherever you go. Show up, sit with the obstacle at hand, and don’t allow it to take your power. You have what it takes to face your demons once and for all. Nothing is ever as bad as it seems, and the sooner you learn to work through what you’re facing, the better.
What kind of manager would you be if you always ran from conflict? Are you doing anyone a favor by avoiding the tough conversations you know must be had? What about in your relationships — will you ever have a meaningful relationship if you ignore the obvious issues at hand? Successful marriages are not made by both parties burying their heads in the sand.
Respect and communication are necessary for building the trust it takes for a lasting relationship. That means you can expect your fair share of uncomfortable conversations and situations. If you are searching for something long-term, whether it be a relationship or a career, you must learn to work through your obstacles. The alternative is being stuck on a treadmill going nowhere.
The bottom line with everything is to accept the challenges at hand and learn to adapt to them. Life is messy for all of us. Social media, movies and television all paint a picture of a nicely paved road to success, but that’s all bullshit. It’s time to stop pretending like we aren’t all facing real problems in our day-to-day lives.
Real success means real work. It means checking your pride at the door and being vulnerable. It means failing and falling and looking foolish when things don’t go as planned. Without this, you will only be going through the motions. To live is to fall down, but none of that matters as long as you get back up and begin again.
Choose to live a life that may have moments of uncertainty, but has the guarantee that you are living your full potential.
Michele is a former St. Louis Rams Cheerleader living in St. Louis. Follow Michele from the sidelines of the NFL to the sidelines of the modern dating world.