“The one thing that keeps us from the connection is our fear of not being worthy of connection.” – Dr. Brené Brown
If you haven’t read Daring Greatly by Dr. Brené Brown, then you’re missing out on life.
Okay, that’s a bit dramatic…And no, I’m not some spokesperson for the book above, nor do I have any affiliation – I just wholeheartedly believe that something worth sharing should be shared, and that’s what I aim to do here today.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us tend to agree with what we already agree with. Yeah, that isn’t meant to sound like a stretch…just stick with me here. What I’m getting at is that when you break it down, we as humans tend to gravitate to things that already fall within our frame of reference.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”? How about “birds of a feather flock together”? These sentences didn’t invent themselves – they came about because the probability of them happening is higher than the opposing outcome.
How often do we as a society acknowledge an outlier? Someone who has overcome all obstacles and achieved what we assume to be great? Why do you think this happens? In my opinion, we highlight these instances because they are rare, unique, a sort of anomaly in the masses. We are so often faced with the stereotypes of what is likely to happen, what people will most likely do, that we fall victim to the cycle. So, when someone pops up outside of that spectrum, we tend to be drawn to it.
I think the same is said to be correct about being uncomfortable. Think about it. In this day and age, we always surround ourselves with things that feel familiar, things that reflect and agree with our view of the world. Our Facebook preferences filter out ads and topics we don’t want to read about; our Netflix account uses algorithms to determine what we should watch next based on our past decisions.
Our Pandora profiles filter, suggest and play songs that we have chosen under our umbrella of likings. It’s so easy for us to stay in our bubble of comfort-ability. But how often do we ignite change when we’re comfortable? How many successful businesses do we open when we remain masked in the safety of our perceived sanctuary? Do we encounter true love and meaning when we hide in our rooms instead of venturing out into the world? The answer is no.
While being uncomfortable, or as Dr. Brené Brown states, “vulnerable,” has been known to cause pain, bring out fear, or highlight shame, it is also the birthplace of joy, growth, and happiness.
Think about a time in your life when you’ve felt the most connected, the most understood. Was it when you pretended to like watching a sport because you thought it would make you look cool? Probably not. Perhaps you felt open and vulnerable when you admitted to your close friend that you are financially struggling, and that you don’t know what to do. Or maybe it was when you confided in a relative about an unhealthy sexual experience.
When we allow ourselves to be seen, really seen, we will enable the light to come in. When we aren’t afraid of what others think, we facilitate the deeper connections that we are all striving for. Remember what made your BFF so special to you when you were a kid? One of the reasons was likely because he or she knew one of your deepest secrets. Maybe in hindsight, the mystery was something silly or mundane, but at the time it was important, and it was what connected you.
Humans strive for connection. We yearn to feel understood and loved. More often than not, we block ourselves from the ability to receive the connection. We put up walls to protect ourselves. We shelter our minds from opposing views to prevent distress. We go about our whole existence working to control everything so that we can be happy when in actuality, all we need to do is let go.
As Dr. Brené Brown so eloquently states, we have to have the courage to be imperfect, have the compassion to be kind to ourselves first, let go of who we think we should be, and in turn be who we indeed are.
Real connection is a result of true authenticity. Get comfortable being uncomfortable, for that is where your true potential lies.
Check out Dr. Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly as well as her awesome TED Talk.
About the Author: Madalyn is a Florida-born girl who has spent the last four years working and basking in the Caribbean sun. Even though she grew up dancing professionally, she is often called a “bull in a china shop” for her clumsy ways. A true lover of the outdoors and new places, Madalyn is always up for an adventure. She has a vast taste for different types of music, often getting caught dancing wherever she is. Writing has always been a passion for Madalyn, and she’s made it her personal life mission to spread the love through words by detailing the eccentricities, from the unconventional to the mundane, of a 20-something just trying to figure out this life, one adventure at a time.