I'm not sure where I picked this up, but I remember hearing this expression "Bring Your Table," and I thought to myself, yeah that sounds about right.
I'm sure you've heard people talk about having a seat at the table? You know the table where important people who are gonna make things happen sit. That table where we spend much of our adult lives hoping to earn a spot and then become one of those people. Yeah that table. Well, I decided, I longer want a seat there, I'm going to bring my own.
A lot of times, for a number of reasons, we wait for people or opportunities to come our way. When honestly, sometimes you just need to bring the table. We are programmed to be believe that we need a seat at someone else's table because that's where we will find success and opportunity. And that is in fact true, others can help your find and achieve success. There are people who have put in years and years of work, have lots of experience, and can offer and be an incredible resource. But often those people become the measure in which judge ourselves. If you have an opportunity to work with someone in your field or collaborate on a project, whatever the case, then do it!
However, something that even I have believed for a long time is that I NEEDED other people in order to achieve my purpose. And you do in many ways. But people are part of the process, but you are responsible for your progress. So, the next time you find yourself waiting around for a call, an opportunity, or advancement, think how can I "bring my table." What can you do to jump-start your success? What you do to pave your own way?
My faith and my relationship with Christ has always been my first response to seeking new opportunities, because I know things don't just happen.
For example, when I when I went on maternity leave, I knew I didn't want to go back to my old position, however not working wasn't an option.
Fast forward to about 2 weeks before I was scheduled to return. My boss calls casually saying she's checking in and the mentions that she heard I was planning on being out another 2 weeks.
Now, I'm confused because I know the paperwork I turned in said the date I planned, but I go along with it and laugh and tell her yes, that when I was coming back.
She continues saying, "Well I can't support that, but I can give you till Friday (this call was on a Wednesday) to find daycare and be in."
Now for the mothers out there reading this you can just imagine the thoughts racing through my mind. I was already unhappy, underpaid, and feeling overworked, but I knew I had to go back. So I told her I would give her a call back.
I immediately went God, told him how I was feeling and told him I needed a way out.
Y'all I promise not that same afternoon, I had 2 jobs interviews scheduled. And I promise, one day soon I will go into that testimony much deeper.
But for now, just know the position I have now allows me to support my family and still go home and focus on being a mom while continuing to work on my writing, develop my blog, and podcast content.
So I say all that to say, some opportunities have an expiration date and will require you step out , take risks, and make boldly intentional moves. My desire for something better was attracted to me because I decided I wasn't going to take what was being thrown at me at someone's else table.
I was being asked to return from my leave early because it was convenient for the organization and met their needs, however, I knew it was time for me to put myself in position develop my interest and my purpose!
So, in this crazy culture of the next big thing, do what is best for you, regardless of who is inviting you to the table or not!
You have more control than you think, so allow yourself the room to grow and don't be afraid to put your table in the middle of the room!