Networking and personal power are vital to growing your business and being a successful leader. This is true whether you are a one-person business, a professional, or a corporate leader running a billion-dollar business. Nowadays, this is truer than ever.

We have systematically been taught in the past (which means it is a part of most people’s habitual way of thinking, whether they realize it consciously or not) that rugged individualism and “logical” thinking is the path to “success.” Of course, that depends on what one means by success.

As I look around, there seem to be many unhappy people in the world, and that includes people with and without large bank accounts. I know that a big part of the problems we have as a society today is due to the misperceptions that the human race in general has about the power of the heart. It is the heart that connects people, creates ownership and team alignment, and gives purpose and meaning to life. Fortunately, the heart—represented by traits of the right-brain hemisphere—is now being given attention in research that is showing how important it is to access these aspects of our self. Logical thinking when taken overboard disconnects us from our inner life, our “self,” and from others as well.

When we repress our heart (of course, we cannot literally and totally disconnect from it), it leads to a buildup of painful feelings that we have unwittingly wired our brain to see as “bad” and to be feared. Well, perception IS reality. As Einstein said, “Reality is an illusion; albeit a persistent one.”

One’s perceptual reality is formed from a combination of genetic generational consciousness, their own story/inclination, and the environment. To the degree one is not aware of the power of their brain’s attention, their personal power to access conscious choice and act in the world can really be “hijacked.” As long as the perception is that the heart is equivalent to “weak” as a whole, this huge aspect of our self will be shamed, rejected, and ignored.

Do you realize that research is showing that the magnetic energy of the heart is 5,000 times greater than that of the brain? And our nervous system is powerfully impacted by feelings so much so that belief is not really “belief” unless there is a strong bodily, visceral component to the thought. Memory is formed by emotional attachment. For example, where were you September 11, 2001 here in the United States? I not only remember where I was, I can tell you the weather that day in Chicago. Now, don’t ask me where I was at 8:30 AM CST time and what the weather was like a week ago today, much less ten years ago. What creates memory, whether pleasant or unpleasant, and what makes it stick?

The answer should be obvious. It’s the meaning and the emotion/feelings we assign that matter most (no, it does not just randomly happen; we assign it). This is important to business, networking, and personal relationships because it is very empowering to change and update your perception about emotion and feelings and learn what they are, the role that they play, and how to “make friends with them” so that you can stop terrifying yourself and holding your relationship success back.

While networking is also a skill, I have found that just having the latest “7-Step System” will still not get you connecting to people in person or in your online videos without also changing the mindset. Someone who saw one of my videos recently told me that she felt like I was “talking to her.”

Well, I was able to do this because I was coming from my authentic heart and not worrying about how I was looking or what I was going to get from someone. Most people can feel this. If you are too stuck on being self-conscious, worrying about making an impression, what others are thinking about you, or getting money out of people’s pockets and into your own, you are not going to build relationships that last.

Since I’ve been an entrepreneur for so long, I understand a lot about running a business, and I can say that dealing with perception and the brain has made a huge difference in my business success, both as the eye surgeon and in my new venture. It has also helped my spiritual growth and personal life. Sure, business means profits, and that is absolutely fine. I’m all for wealth building.

We just need to create a paradigm where greed is not the motivator and in which we come from a place of excellent service and integrity. People are also becoming more intuitive and can see through your motives – this is a GREAT thing as far as I’m concerned. Also, I know from personal experience as I continue to shift from my old “Lone Ranger” paradigm, fostered when I was in medical school, to returning to my authentic state of enjoying connection to people (I was in a rut of only connecting from the heart with clients/patients – a blog post for another time) that I’m now enjoying life more.

This is the door to business success and happiness in the 21st century. By the way, the heart is anything but weak. Courage is from the heart, not the head. We drive ourselves nuts at times with fear in our heads – just think of the “inner critic.” Also, just think about the language we use: “Brave Heart,” “Purple Heart of Courage,” “She has a lot of Heart.” That doesn’t sound weak to me! It is a lie to think that one can leave heart/feelings out of the equation and still access the winning formula to business and life success. What we need to do as individuals, though, is recognize that our personal power is from the heart in partnership with our mind, and that this is an inside-out process. Truth be told, the heart is the foundational power to successful networking, in business or personal life.

Until we do this, we will be in our heads living in fear, competition, and giving away our power to external props, always striving to “find ourselves” in what we do or in the next great material “thing.” It will be a challenge to innovate, take risks and connect and collaborate with others. When will we figure out that this is an “illusion,” as Einstein talked about, that is not in our best interest? The most obvious answer is to get on a different path to create a “reality” that expands your life by learning how to retrain your brain to reclaim your true personal power – business and life integration as a whole person.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life.

Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website,