Evolve | connect | grow – it’s not just our tag line; it’s a path to success in every aspect of our lives, and connection is the most critical part of the process. Humans crave authentic connections. We are relational beings. Without meaningful connections to other people, we become very lonely.
I say this realizing that the idea being lonely carries a certain stigma. We envision lonely people as sitting alone in their homes or in the corner at parties with no friends, family, or anyone to engage. We often equate feeling lonely to being unworthy and we judge ourselves and others accordingly. But being alone and being lonely are two very different things. Some people are perfectly content in isolation. There are others who are wildly popular, the center of attention, always on stage, who feel utterly alone in this world.
Why? Because loneliness has nothing to do with the number of people we’re surrounded by. It has everything to do with being disconnected. And the most critical connection is the one we have with ourselves; it is the basis of all other connections we form.
But what does it mean to be connected with ourselves? First and foremost, it means we know our worth. It means that we understand our value. Knowing our worth allows us to live authentically. It allows us to be who we – not who we believe others expect us to be. It frees us from the constant feeling of having to walk on eggshells to make sure we are saying, doing, and thinking the “right things” in order to fit in or not be seen as different.
Being connected with ourselves also means that we are grounded. Being grounded allows us to remain still in the midst of chaos because we are firmly established in the present moment. We are not living in the past or attempting to predict the future. We are thinking, feeling, and acting in the now.
When we know our worth and are grounded in the present, we are able to seek genuine connection with others and work to deepen the connection with ourselves. If we don’t understand our value and remain ungrounded, we won’t seek connection with others. Instead, we will seek validation, and we will rarely find it.
When we feel lonely, that feeling often originates from a lack of connection with ourselves. It’s the first place we should look when we feel disconnected. But it’s often the last place we search because looking within can sometimes be hard, and as humans, we tend to look in the easy places.
Lastly, we don’t have to be fully connected with ourselves to seek authentic connection with others. We don’t have to wait until we are healed or “perfect” to establish and build those relationships. Simply recognizing that self-connection is important is a huge leap forward in the process. It forms the basis of our self-awareness and as we become more self-aware, we can then begin to observe our feelings and learn from them. This is growth. It’s a process. And our growth is the gateway to our success, however we choose to define success in our lives.