10 Ways to Feel More Connected
What we talked about at the end of last summer is just as true today -- and perhaps more than ever before. So, as we stand on the leading edge of spring, let's revisit 10 ways to feel more connected to the world, other people, and especially yourself...
Be with people you can be authentic around (1:25)
Stop hanging onto things that no longer feed your soul (1:55)
Make decisions, and make them work (3:00)
Don’t put big energy into small worries (4:35)
Don’t start a negotiation with No (6:05)
Don’t be the expert (7:15)
Show the victim to the door (8:35)
Give the gift of clarity (10:05)
Don’t allow one thing to define you (11:30)
Realize that the problem is always you (12:40)
Your turn… (14:05)
10 Ways to Feel More Connected
There’s a lot going on in the world right now. There’s a lot of opportunity for feeling disconnected or choosing to shut down and have less connection.
I often hear from people that there are friends, coworkers, and even family members who they no longer feel the same level of connection with because of disagreements, differences of opinion, different worldviews, or conflict.
So, today, I want to focus on some simple strategies that will help you experience a deeper sense of connection and a deeper sense of peace. So, here we go with 10 strategies for feeling more connected…
1. BE WITH PEOPLE YOU CAN BE AUTHENTIC AROUND
If you can’t be honest with someone and have your thoughts and opinions heard, then find other people to be around who you can – they’re out there.
The challenge is, if you pretend for too long, you’re going to end up losing yourself.
2. STOP HANGING ON TO THINGS THAT NO LONGER FEED YOUR SOUL
Just because you don’t want to go through the stress or discomfort of letting them go is no reason to hang on to them.
Initial discomfort is inevitable. There’s grief, and that grief can be very real, but the space that’s created when we let go is a space available for new things to drop in. The key here is to be okay with the empty space for as long as it takes, and then to be discerning with what you allow to fill it.
Being in charge of how you prioritize your time and how you feed your curiosity is really empowering.
3. MAKE DECISIONS, AND MAKE THEM WORK
The second you start ruminating on negative thoughts, crippling memories, or former pain and discomfort, you are choosing to send yourself down a rabbit hole. And do you know what awaits you in that hole? Darkness, dirt, and a maze of tunnels that brings you back up quite close to the place where you dove in.
So, instead, analyze what it is about the decision or current situation that makes you uncomfortable. If it feels like it didn’t work out or it’s not going well, figure out what learning you can apply. Consider what you wish you’d done differently back then, and then apply it to your life now.
Don’t just vow to show up differently, analyze each of the learnings from your past to determine which new behaviors or skills you will try to get a different result now and in the future.
4. DON’T PUT BIG ENERGY INTO SMALL WORRIES
Play by the If I’m Going To Forget About This Within A Week, I’m Not Going To Waste My Energy By Worrying About It Now rule.
Sometimes, when I’m sitting at a traffic light, I’ll feel really stressed out about hitting that red light. I’m trying to get somewhere; I’m trying to do something; stopped at a light is not where I want to be in that moment.
But in those moments, when I feel that energy and angst are coming up from me, I ask myself: “Will I remember this moment an hour from now, a week from now, a year from now?”
In other words, if I spend my time being stressed out, angry, or annoyed about this, how will that impact my future? If the answer is not at all, minimally, or I won’t even remember the experience, then I choose to spend that time being peaceful, joyful, and relaxed.
5. DON’T START A NEGOTIATION WITH “NO”
Many times, I’ve interacted with people where, when an idea is shared with them, or they’re asked a question or presented with an opportunity, the first word out of their mouth is No.
I recommend starting with curiosity. Give yourself a break between hearing the new information and saying no. Remember: Grace is in the space!
Instead of starting with a no, ask, “Oh, that’s fascinating. Can you say more?” That’s curiosity; that’s where the learning comes from.
Are there times to say no? Are there times to set a boundary? Are there times to be firm? Absolutely! But what I’m talking about here is when No becomes a protection, when it becomes a habit.
6. DON’T BE THE EXPERT
The unknown is scary. So scary, in fact, that we do everything we can to know about our future based on what we conceive is possible now.
The challenge is that when we show up in that expert mode, we immediately begin limiting our possibilities, and we get attached to a limiting view of the outcomes.
Being curious and open to potentiality means that your pool of possibilities is wider and more expansive than what you can possibly know in this moment, than what you can see through your own lens. Think about how much more fun and exciting that awareness can be!
7. SHOW THE VICTIM TO THE DOOR
Look for all the places where you could possibly be showing up as the victim, and then show that victim the door.
The whole world isn’t indebted to you, nor is it out to get you. People aren’t usually against things; they’re just for themselves. Most often, other people are thinking about you far less than you worry about them doing so.
Your perspective, your opinion, the way you believe things should be? That’s just one of many perfect perspectives in the world; it’s like a facet on a giant gemstone. Your view is just a speck in the span of infinite potential views.
And when you let go of the feeling that your perspective is the best, that it’s the perspective that everyone should have, that your view is the perfect lens on the world, and, instead, engage with a shared perspective, you become connected with all people and all things.
8. GIVE THE GIFT OF CLARITY
Clear communication is education. It’s educating people on how you want to be treated, how you see the world, the goals you have, the outcomes you seek, and what you want.
You have a significantly better chance of getting what you believe you need and want when you have the courage to communicate it with clarity.
When wants and needs aren’t clearly communicated, people most often treat us in the way they wish to be treated, as they’re under an assumption that you would want the same as they do.
So, instead of getting angry and resentful when you don’t get what you need, or you aren’t treated the way you want to be treated, speak your truth with clarity, honesty, integrity, empathy, and with a focus on the good of the whole.
9. DON’T ALLOW ONE THING TO DEFINE YOU
There is not one decision – or one behavior or one day or one instance – that makes you who you are. As it’s been said: You are what you consistently do.
Vulnerability builds connection, so don’t pretend you never struggle, have never suffered, are never uncertain, or that you never feel anything but happiness. You were created to ebb and flow, shift and change, shrink and grow. It means you’re alive, so be alive! Be fully alive.
The magic is accepting this and knowing how to bring yourself back to center during or after those challenging moments.
10. REALIZE THAT THE PROBLEM IS ALWAYS YOU
Now, that sounds harsh, and I imagine a whole bunch of you will be eager to rise up and disagree with me – and I get that. But, truthfully? It is always you.
Here’s the reason why: The only person you can control is yourself.
If you’re upset with a situation, you cannot force other people to change to suit your wants and needs, to align with your beliefs, to behave in the way you think they should. You can only change what you can control – and that’s yourself.
Whether that means removing yourself from the situation, asserting yourself, or changing your mindset about how you’re going to approach the situation, it always comes back to you.
If you’ve been stuck waiting for others to change, take another look, because the problem is you.
Here’s the deal:
The secret to feeling more connected starts with a connection to self.
The secret to feeling appreciated begins with appreciating yourself.
The secret to feeling loved starts with finding the things within yourself that you love.
The secret to having joy and abundance begins with having gratitude for everything that already is, and
The secret to finding peace is to understand that it already exists – it’s within you.
So, today, simply take a moment to listen for the beat of your heart and to feel gratitude for its continual presence and consistency. When you breathe in, imagine your heart expanding with your breath.
This is a simple practice that will bring you back to center. By going inside, it will bring you into a deeper connection and a deeper peace.
I share this with you based on my own learning, my own experience, and the tenets and the values behind Navigating Challenging Dialogue.
With deep gratitude for our connection,