“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ~ Brené Brown
As humans, we are all naturally programmed and hardwired to connect with others. It’s connection to others that ultimately gives our lives meaning and purpose. A true connection with others is made when we reveal our most vulnerable, authentic selves. It’s those connections that validate us, empower us, make us feel heard, appreciated, respected, loved and ultimately empowered.
Most of us know these kinds of relationships are important, but research is finding more and more that many of us are lacking those exact types of meaningful connections in our lives.
Take a moment to think about the connections you have with others in your life. Can you easily communicate what’s on your mind to your parents? Are you truly able to admit or talk about your fears or express your most vulnerable feelings or desires with your partner? Do you feel fully validated and appreciated by your friends? If you answered “no” to any of these questions then you could definitely benefit by making deeper connections in your relationships.
One of the main reasons that prevents most of us from having the ability to actually make those real kinds of connections we truly long for is fear.
It’s a fear of disconnection. Is there something about me that will make people like me less if they knew about it?
While we may spend lots of time with friends, are we using the time to really connect with them?
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky
A well-known sociologist and researcher, Brene Brown, spent six years extensively interviewing and case studying thousands of men and women in order to better understand the fear and the core difference between those who were able to make deep and meaningful connections versus those who seemed to struggle with them.
Her findings revealed those who had a strong sense of worthiness and a strong sense of love and belonging believed they were worthy of love and belonging. The one thing that keeps us from the connection is our belief that we are not worthy of it.
When we know our worth it gives us a sense of courage. The courage to be imperfect and the compassion to be kind to ourselves and to others. If you don't love yourself, if you lack self-esteem, if you doubt yourself, then this will reflect how you perceive and react to others.
“Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure.”- Bob Marley
Those who are able to divulge their most vulnerable selves have courage and authenticity. It’s having a willingness to let go of who you think you ought to be and instead allow your true authentic self to be seen. When we embrace vulnerability, we can find power and beauty.
One of the main reasons we fear being vulnerable is because somehow our culture has attached weakness with vulnerability, but the two could not be further apart. If you can find courage in disclosing your truest, most authentic and vulnerable selves, you will start to see your relationships and life change before your eyes.
We all have the power to be who we want and to materialize the type of life we want for ourselves. We have the power to make those real connections we crave. So promise me, each time you catch yourself hesitating to say something or do something, but find you’re backing away because of fear of rejection, remind yourself it’s all an assumption that you’ve orchestrated in your mind!
This is your life, so live it with courage, find power in being vulnerable and give praise to those who find courage in themselves.
If you need someone to connect with,
to speak with an empathetic listener