So I’m now reading the book ‘Daring Greatly’ By Brene Brown. And her talk about the power of courage, compassion and connection inspired me to write this post.
The truth is that we’ll all benefit from more courage, compassion and connection. But those are ultimately abstract concepts that can seem complex and hard to fully grasp. Well let’s simplify them and lay out some straight-forward tips for you to get more of those three wonderful things.
Courage relates to taking action in the face of fear, anxiety and doubt. We’ve all been courageous before even in just small ways. Maybe you were being mistreating at a job for a long time. So finally one day you quit. That takes courage. Courage isn’t just about climbing a mountain and slaying a dragon.
One way to increase your levels of courage is by increasingly stretching your comfort zone. Let’s say, you go out with your friends twice a month to a bar. And at the bar they always have karaoke. Your friends all go up and sing in front of all the strangers. But you never do it cause it seems too scary. Well next time, put yourself out there and sing a fun song. This will end up being more enjoyable than you think. Plus you’ll end up using more of your courage muscle which will only get stronger the more you use it.
We all know that compassion is about expressing more concern and empathy for other people. But many people think you are either already compassionate or you are not. Well you can actually train yourself to be more compassionate. And in turn, as you do, others will express more compassion towards you.
An easy way to do this is by putting yourself in other people’s shoes. We’ve all heard about this concept but how often do we do it? Think of the last time a clerk was a bit rude to you and caused you to get short-tempered. Afterwards, did you consider what she had been though that day? Maybe she just had her heart broken or maybe she just had her car stolen the day before. You never know. So aim to get better at curiously considering what other people are going through in their life right now.
Just getting more and more curious about the details of someone else’s life, will naturally cause you to feel more compassion for them.
We are all social creatures. In fact, neuroscientists have discovered our brains have more ‘spindle cells’ than any other creatures on the planet. And a spindle cell is essentially connected to our desire and ability for social interaction and connection. Whether you consider yourself an introvert, an extrovert, a loner or a leader…you have a deep inner part of your that needs to connect with people on some level.
Some are totally cool with just having a couple close people in their lives. Others constantly make new friends while they manage a team of 20 people and raise 4 kids. Either way, you must admit that if you lived your life completely isolated from all other humans, with not contact to any people, directly or digitally…that would make life feel a lot less worth living, right?!
Well if you are like most people…you aim to make more connections in your life. Or you at least aim to connect more deeply with those you are currently close to. Let’s explore two great ways to get more connection in your life.
Be More Vulnerable
Dare to share more of what you are struggling with. In our current social media, my life is amaze-balls and I never had problems vail we project to the world about our lives…Deep down this prevents us from feeling comfortable to share issues and real problems we have. Cause facebook feeds make it seem like no one else is having problems. But as you know deep down, that’s bullshit. Or some share way too much personal, sad stuff on their feed. But you don’t need to share big secrets on facebook, you can if you feel compelled to. But at least, start to talk more about that stuff with people you really care about. Brene Brown defines vulnerability as: an uncertainty, risk or emotional exposure. So you being vulnerable should have the aim of connection. And you being vulnerable should encourage others to do so in their own ways.
Ask More Questions
Encourage those you care about and want to get to know better to share more about their lives. Ask more and more questions. Ask about their struggles, ask about their family, ask about their dreams…anything. A good way to go about this is to ask, listen, comment; ask, listen, comment…etc.
As you can see developing more courage, compassion and connection has many benefits. Benefits for you and everyone you interact with. And as you develop these qualities…you’ll become increasingly self-aware and increasingly authentic and develop an increasing amount of meaning to your life. And I have found that one of the bigger meanings to life is to find more meaning along the way.
I appreciate you reading this post. If you enjoyed it…