How to Have More Connection in Your Life

I just watched this 20 minute TED Talk and thought it was phenomenal and definitely worth sharing. It's entitled "The Power of Vulnerability" by Brene Brown and is about human connection, love and belonging. 

Be prepared to smile because not only is Brene Brown an excellent speaker, but she's funny as well. Below I've included the video as well as some of the main takeaways from the talk. Enjoy!

Here are some of my favorite quotes and takeaways:

Connection is why we're here. It's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. We're hard-wired to have connection.

Shame is the fear of disconnection. "Is there something about me that if others know it or see it, that I won't be worthy of connection?" It's universal. We all have it.

What underpinned this shame (the "I'm not ______ enough") was excruciating vulnerability.

In order for connection to happen, we must allow ourselves to be seen.

The one thing that separated the people she researched who had a strong sense of love and belonging vs. the people who struggled for it and constantly wondered if they're good enough is that the people who had a strong sense of love and belonging believed they were worthy of love and belonging.

These people who had a deep sense of worthiness had the following in common:

  • They had the courage to be imperfect.
  • They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others (because as it turns out, we can't practice compassion with other people unless we can treat ourselves kindly)
  • They were authentic. They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be in order to be who they were.
  • They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn't talk about it as being comfortable or excruciating, they just talked about it being necessary.

You can't selectively numb emotion. So when we numb the feelings we don't want to feel, we also numb joy, gratitude and happiness.

Here's what you can do:

  • Let yourself be deeply seen, vulnerably seen.
  • Love with your whole heart, even if there is no guarantee.
  • Practice gratitude and joy, even in moments of terror. Instead of catastrophizing, express gratitude. Feeling vulnerable means that you're alive.
  • Believe you are enough. When you stop screaming and start listening, you'll be kinder and gentler to the people around you and to yourself.