Sara is a dear friend of ours and the ultimate social butterfly- although she prefers to go by "Social Pitbull". In the last 6 months, we've had the opportunity to have her in a few of our series and here are her tips for getting the most out of Social Yoga:
I’m all about social experiences. I believe that by being social, your world opens up to unlimited opportunities and experiences that you may have never thought could exist. Just by being open to connecting to people around me, I’ve had the most incredible life experiences - such as backpacking solo for 2 months in Australia and NZ, and not having to pay for accommodation once and traveling to Amsterdam on my own, and immediately meeting someone who then let me stay in her apartment for the week without her - the apartment keys, a fully stocked fridge of food, all included. Oh, and getting the unreal opportunity to become a partner in a start up business without having any past business education or experience at only 19 years old.
Being social in your community not only opens doors to meeting people who could directly impact your life in personal ways, such as developing friendships that will last a lifetime, but also grants you access to business opportunities that can change your life in the blink of an eye, putting you on the direct path of achieving your dreams.
At Social City Networking, we’re all about sharing social experiences, social media and networking tips, and information about incredible events, people or organizations up to great things. The more people get out there, the more they can get out of their lives - both personally and professionally. So I’m always on the hunt for good people up to good things - which is what led me directly to The Social Yoga.
The next thing I knew, I was on a social yoga mat, surrounded by 4 or 5 strangers, having conversations, and doing vinyasas and downward dogs. This was my kind of social combo. Since that very first class, I’ve been hooked - grabbing spots in as many series as I could. I’m now what I lovingly call a “Social Yoga Junkie”, and I’m proud to declare it. I’ve been introduced to incredible small businesses (hosting each series, such as Float Yaletown, The Juice Truck Store, and The Soap Dispensary), as well as I’ve met and developed relationships with awesome people in each series who I can now call friends and collaborators.
Being the Social Yoga Junkie, and social networker that I am, I’ve come up with some tips for getting the most out of your Social Yoga adventure. Here’s 5 Social Tips to get the most out of a Social Yoga Series:
Some of the biggest limitations I’ve seen with people when it comes to getting out there are fear and self doubt. For some reason or another, we trick ourselves into allowing intimidation about going into a group of strangers to take over. As much as we’re a social society now a days (who isn't on instagram and facebook?), when it comes to taking online opportunities to connect offline, we freeze up. We've become much more comfortable with connecting to people through screens than we have in real life, face to face. Toss that weird intimidation feeling out the window, book yourself in to that series, and take the online social, offline. Which leads me to my next point...
Disconnect from your phone
Put that thing down. Turn it off. Put it in your bag. Forget about it for the next 2 hours. You’re going to be fine - the world will not change as you know it, you’re not going to miss anything happening in the twitterverse that you can’t get filled in on later. Trust me. It’s all good. Being social doesn't just mean being active online. It means looking people in the eye, shaking their hand, and having conversations that don't involve emojis. Those emoji sentiments will be expressed through the muscles in your face. This might make you feel nervous, and if you're starting to feel your palms get sweaty just thinking about this…
Don’t over think it.
As much as your phone might feel like a comfortable security blanket, it’s important to not be dependent on it for your social life. And you can do this without it. Sure, there might be some awkwardness, but remember: you’re here. You’re in control. Sometimes it helps to stop the downward spiraling nervous talk we have going on up there in our minds, and just flip the perspective of it: why are you nervous? Is it because you don’t know these people? They don’t know you either, and are probably feeling the same way you are right now. You’re not alone, and Anita is a great facilitator, so just trust her - she knows what she’s doing.
Don’t be shy, what’s the point in that? Why not share what you’re working on, or interested in? If you don’t start the conversation, you’ll never know what can come out of it. Odds are, your ideas are probably awesome. People want to know what you’re up to, and want to know how to get involved and collaborate. And if you need help with something, such as you’re looking to switch careers and don’t know about new job opportunities, someone in that group probably knows someone who knows someone who can help you. Put it out there, and you never know what can come out from it. Say nothing, and nothing happens - that’s a guarantee. Struggling with a little bit of verbal diarrhea or stuttering? Remember tip 3 and DON’T OVER THINK IT. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. You got this.
and last but not least
Now that you've had the face to face connection and conversations, don’t stop there. One of the BIGGEST tips for all of networking is this: FOLLOW UP. An opportunity lost is an opportunity you never followed up on. That person you told your new business idea to and was interested? Grab their phone number. That person who liked hiking as much as you did? Grab that phone that you stowed away in your bag that you've probably forgotten about by now, and add them on facebook - that’s what it’s for! One of the best things about any of the Social Yoga series is, if you missed your chance the first class, you have 3-4 more still to go, so don’t drop the ball on the conversation - keep it going!
Seriously. Laugh, make a joke (you’re probably pretty funny and you just didn't know it.), and relax. You’re here. You signed up, you showed up, you didn't over think it - give yourself a mental high-five and enjoy the experience. You deserve it.