Upon initial introductions people often want a list of credentials to gauge your value. I totally get it. It is a really easy way to determine if someone has been given the stamp of approval externally instead of trying to figure that out internally.
1.) It places a person's value on a piece of paper. No paper = No value. I think we all know how silly that really is. Lots of people who don't show up positively in the world have all sorts of paper showing their credentials. On the flipside, lots of people show up amazingly in the world but there aren't papers for it. So right away the system is incredibly limiting, and not to our benefit.
2.) It is a shortcut that takes the responsibility away from where it really belongs. When it really comes down to it, do you actually want someone else determining what is and is not valuable? Without this system it is up to each individual to decide what is or is not valuable to them. Yes, it requires being present and making conscious choices, but isn't that the goal anyway?
Here is my invitation to you; next time you meet someone, explore who they are instead of what papers they've collected.
What do you do? can become What is a passion you're pursuing?
How are you doing? transforms into What are you really excited about in your life right now?
What brought you to this networking event? is exchanged for Is there something you're looking to get out of this event? Maybe I can assist!
You get the idea. Not only will you set yourself apart, you will also open up the opportunity to really get to know someone, which is the level we truly connect at anyway.
Now, you may be thinking, "Jace sometimes credentials are pretty important. What about finding a new doctor? Eh???"
Yes, there are times when it is important to know that someone has the experience to show up in certain ways. HOWEVER, I've gone to several doctors with offices wallpapered with their degrees who I didn't trust or like in the slightest because of who they were. Most recently I went to an Osteopath who was so cruel and belittling that my visit with her was more painful than the ailment I went in for. She had all the credentials but none of the qualities that actually count in that situation. I'm much more likely to visit and listen to my Family Nurse Practitioner who I feel is an awesome human being even if her credentials are not as substantial.
Now I'm not telling you to have your chest pain checked out by your neighbor Jeana because she's super sweet. What I'm saying is that who we are is just as important (and sometimes more important) than the outside accomplishments we can hang on our wall.
For a fuller life, skip the shortcut and enjoy getting to know people. It's actually a lot more fun than you might imagine, and the benefits that come from it are massive and lasting!
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