One of my values is making meaningful connections. As humans we’re hardwired for connection, hardwired to fit in, to feel like we belong. But here’s the thing, there’s a big difference between fitting in and belonging.

Brene Brown describes the difference as:
“Fitting in is assessing a situation and becoming who you need to be to be accepted.” However “Belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are, it requires us to be who we are.”

When we are authentically ourselves we can communicate with others with confidence and with clarity and because of that we will attract people who reflect back to us our brilliance and our strengths. But being authentically you can be risky and takes courage knowing that in some places we will not fit in or feel like we belong and that that’s ok.

Before we can connect to others as our authentic selves though, we need to connect to ourselves. We need to know who we are, what makes us happy, sad, angry. What our values are, what motivates us. What makes us brilliant, what our strengths are, what our weaknesses are, what makes us, well, us.

It’s important to connect in with yourself daily so you know that when you go out and connect with others, they’re getting the real, authentic you.

I always find writing to be a great tool in checking in with myself but equally you could just do this in your head. Ask yourself, Were there any times recently where I felt a disconnect? Where I felt I was wearing a mask and not able to let my true self out? Were those times to keep me safe or was I doing it to make other people feel better about my presence? Was I holding part of me in, not speaking up maybe when I should have, not giving feedback when I should have? Doing something in contradiction to my values? The more you do this check in the easier it will be to spot the signs during and after.

Getting to know yourself is so empowering and will make connecting with your audience much more dynamic and effective.
Remember, connections are a two way thing, it’s not about selling, it’s about both parties benefitting from the connection, it’s about human connecting with human and both feeling good about the interaction.

So how well do you know yourself? What are your values? Why do you do what you do?
This isn’t anyway a sales post but if you’ve no idea or feel totally disconnected from yourself then my courses Connect With Your Audience for artists and creatives and Build a Thriving Brand for solopreneurs and small business owners would be of help to you.