Encouragement Practice: Invitation

It’s easy to extend an invitation to people we know. After all, it’s all within our comfort zone, and they are familiar to us. We risk hardly anything that way. It’s when we don’t know someone or a group of someones that it starts to get more difficult.

Invitation is such a powerful tool.

It immediately creates connection between people. It makes us feel valued, part of something bigger, needed. It tamps down the fear of asking to be included, the fear of being judged critically, and it creates an energy of possibility.

Yet, we hold back, or rather our fear holds us back. We don’t want to be rejected or judged. It’s a risky thing.

I recently had the experience of joining a group that share some of my interests.

It seemed like it would be a good fit. I attended the first meeting. When I entered the room, no one spoke to me. After the meeting, I attended a dinner. When I walked into the room, no one invited me to sit with them. I wondered if I had something written on me that made me look like I had spilled something down my front. They were so unfriendly. My mind took me down the rabbit hole of “what’s wrong with me?” So when they went around the table to introduce themselves I croaked out one sentence. I’m new. I felt strangled by the fear and sense of rejection. It was a terrible experience. Because I paid my dues and am not a quitter, I have been back two more times with roughly the same experience. I don’t give up easily.

It took me a while to realize that it’s not a friendly organization but rather an organization of friends - most of whom aren’t open to someone they don’t know.

I only use this as an example of how possibility can be gained or lost in a brief exposure.

If we never risk welcoming new people into our lives, we will never know what love, resources, intelligence, or contribution they might have added to our lives.

Don’t miss an opportunity. You world is big enough for some new ideas, relationships, and pathways you might never have thought of yourself.