Connecting is scary – why you need to do it anyway.

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I get it.  Connecting is scary.  Especially when you’re already feeling vulnerable.  Maybe you’re feeling self-conscious about how you’re feeling.  Perhaps you think others will judge you.  You might even feel sick in the stomach just thinking about it.

 

It doesn’t really matter what the issue is; heartbreak, depression, sadness, insecurity, just generally feeling ‘blah’.  Most of us prefer to keep these feelings quiet.

 

Maybe your internal monologue goes a little something like this…

 

What if they think I’m an idiot? 

They’ll think I’m a bad person, worse, a bad mother, if I admit this.  

They won’t understand.  

They’ll think I’m over-reacting.

They’ll think I’m under-reacting.

It’s not even that bad, they’re going through something much worse, I can’t burden them with this.  

I can’t admit this.

I have so much to be grateful for, they’ll think I’m just whinging.

They’ll think it’s insignificant, it’s so superficial.

They’ll talk about me to someone else, I don’t want anyone else to know.

 

So instead you decide it’s better to keep quiet.

 

You think – I’m the only one who knows how I’m feeling. No one else will understand. No one else feels this way.

 

You bury those feelings down deep and resign yourself to dealing with them on your own.

 

But you don’t deal with them. Quietly they fester and grow bigger until they’re bubbling just under the surface.  You think about them often, beating yourself up for not being able to move on, for being stuck, for not being able to make the changes you think you need.

 

Or maybe you have reached out to connect.  You put your heart on your sleeve and … crickets.  

 

Everyone else was too busy dealing with their own stuff that they missed your attempt to connect.  Maybe they were running the same thoughts through their own head, worried about how YOU would judge them that they didn’t want to risk speaking up.

 

Trust me, I know how it feels.

 

And I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for me. I tell you this because I want you to know that we’re all in the same boat. That we all have the same insecurities and it is because of this  (not in spite of it) that we need to connect over them so that they don’t run our lives.

 

Last month I organised an online women’s circle.  And it completely FLOPPED.  I put myself out there and … nothing.

 

At first I felt self-conscious.  What a failure! What a fraud! Maybe you guys think I’m a joke? Maybe you think I’m an idiot? Maybe this isn’t valuable at all. Maybe you are sick of hearing what I have to say?  Maybe this is all a waste of time and I should just quit now. Maybe you just…. don’t… want… to… connect… with… me? Maybe I’M NOT ENOUGH.

 

Sound familiar?

 

I went over this in my head for a few days. I felt sick.  I felt exposed. I felt vulnerable.

 

Then I gave myself a pep-talk and got over myself. I changed the date to next month. I made it an hour later (some of you said 7.30 was too early – still in the middle of the mad dinner-bath-bed hour).

 

And you know, maybe the next one will flop too. I don’t know. Maybe only 2 of you will show. (Who cares! Can you imagine the connection we’ll have if there are only 3?)

 

It doesn’t matter.  I know this is something that has the potential to be really powerful and connect a lot of you. I know this because you guys have been telling me every time I post something about my in-person circles.

 

I hear that you wish there was something in your area.  That you wish you were able to leave your kids to get to one.

I know because you send me emails connecting with me over your stories.

I know because so many of you have told me it helped to hear that they weren’t the only ones feeling this way.  That some of my stories have made you feel less crazy, more normal and helped you to share your story as well.

 

I don’t have a huge motivational message for you at the end of this post.  I won’t call you to join the circle, though of course I’d love for you to do so.  I just wanted you know that I feel vulnerable too. Reaching out is hard.  Putting your thoughts and feelings out there to connect with others feels really bloody scary but I think know it’s important.  

 

Because it’s only through connecting with others that we can heal.

It’s where we can finally hear that our stories are other’s stories too.

That we’re not the only one feeling this way. 

That we aren’t alone after all.

xx

2 Responses to “Connecting is scary – why you need to do it anyway.

  • Awww. I didn’t know about the circle! Will pop over and have a look. It’s hard to put yourself out there- good on you for trying!

  • It is hard – I agree. And so important. And so good that you put it out there. That’s the way it will work, isn’t it?

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