I saw a post on LinkedIn in which a successful speaker/author was promoting the work of another even more successful speaker/author. He talked about how they are in the same “leadership community,” a group of people who come together twice a year to learn from one another and support one another’s work. I immediately hit the link to the organization thinking, “this is for me, how do I join?”
I don’t. It’s an exclusive group. Invite only.
My next impulse was to review the list of members, looking for someone who might nominate me for membership. I even recognized a few names. What’s true is that whenever they first came together they did so by choosing themselves. And, I suppose, based on the quality of my work, the strength of my reputation, and the determination of my networking they might, someday, choose me.
But why would I wait for that? Why is my first impulse to find a way to be chosen rather than to simply choose myself? Because, as exclusive as that group might be, it’s easier to imagine being invited to join something that exists than to have to figure out how to start something that doesn’t. It’s easier to stick with the known and tell myself an old story than move into the unknown and write a new one. If I choose me then I am responsible for what happens.
And here’s the thing, my group already exists. It’s just not “official” yet. I have some great friends doing incredible work in the world, choosing themselves and living with the consequences, opportunities and fulfillment of doing so. Do any of them want to start a group of our own? I have no idea. And I’m not going to wait around for them to call.
Enough already. Choose yourself.