In a social situation, we all have times when we feel fully alive, engaged and completely present…
We love these moments…
And when the opposite occurs… When that voice inside of us creeps in and tells us things such as “I know I can be better than this.” or “I have no idea what to say. Omg… I’m such a lame person…”
And on it goes… With judgement, criticism and blame we’re taking our ability to connect even deeper into a hole we’re unconsciously digging for ourselves…
What the heck is this hole all about?
Let’s explore what this is all about and how to deal with it.
Ok, so… The hole is there to protect you… The hole is dugg because we are perceiving something as “dangerous” or “harmful”…
To explain this, we can begin with the basics…
So, to connect and enter the social flow, where we all want to be in social situations, we have to understand that there are preconditions to this state of connection…
According to the social psychologist Barbara Fredrickson, Principal Investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab (PEPLab) at the University of North Carolina, there are two basic preconditions, two “states” that has to be established before, in order to enter the state where connection happens effortlessly, and these are:
1. A sense of Safety
The opposite? We’re perceiving (perceiving = subjective thinking which becomes “our truth”) “dangers” such as judgements, what people will think of us and imagined, unwanted consequences. We’re not acknowledging the situation…
2. A sense of Sameness
This sameness means that you can see the common ground with the ones you’re connecting with…
For example, if you’d meet someone that you perceive to have “higher status” and think that this person is somehow “more worthy” than you are or a “better person” than you, this can very well hinder the state of genuine connection to emerge.
But if you see the common ground you have, that you’re simply human beings, who all share similar struggles and have similar basic fears, it fosters connection.
HOW TO ENTER THE STATE OF CONNECTION
There’s no silver bullet here…
Here’s some things you can try:
1. Understand that it’s ok to feel insecure and “not at your peak”
This simply takes away a lot of pressure to be in a certain way.
2. Be open and transparent about your thoughts and feelings
See & understand that ultimately, honesty & openness is not going to be as dangerous & hurtful as you might have thought.
3. Be prepared for battle
“The one who sweats more in practice, bleeds less in battle.” – Spartan (cool) Saying
One of the most potent ways preparing for small and big battles that I know of is to WOOP it. (This powerful inner Strategy from Prof. Gabriele Oettingen, Author of Rethinking Positive Thinking)
To “WOOP”, simply ask yourself before entering battle:
* What’s my #1 Wish/goal here? (image it vividly and feel it viscerally)
* What’s the #1 Outcome/benefit I wish to experience as a result of this goal? (see it and feel it)
* What are some inner and outer Obstacles that might stand in the way of getting to my Wish/goal? (see them interrupting you on your way to your goal)
* What is my Plan to overcome the different inner and outer obstacles that might be in my way? (see the obstacles arising but now also see your solutions coming to work for you)
Now, your mind is prepared for battle.
And know that along your path, there will most likely be situations when you feel less than optimal, even if you feel like you’re doing everything right…
And when we grow and improve, and get used to a new way of being, another standard, it all becomes relative…
So the key along the process of growth in this, and any area really, is simply this:
Learn to Embrace Obstacles as your greatest teachers.
In this way, peace and perspective can come forth and you will look upon these sub-optimal experiences as something useful, rather than something you’re either ashamed of or build your identity on…
Feel free to connect!
Would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂
– Daniel Galovan