Lost & Found: Getting Grounded in Your WHY
Do you ever feel lost?
Not in a “I took a wrong turn, my GPS froze and I have no idea where I am” kind of lost. No, I’m talking about something a little more existential.
Let me explain. Since making the change from self-employed to “other” employed, I’ve felt a little in limbo. Who am I? What to write about? What to share on social media.
The tension between differentiating between my “paid” work and my “creative” work – singing, song parodies, comedy – is, well, tense.
Recently, a new friend and colleague, Becca Powers, invited me to be a guest on her podcast, The Empowered Half Hour. When we finished I surprisingly felt less lost. In a short 30 minute conversation, her questions tapped into who I am and more importantly WHY I do what I do. Whether it’s comedy, song parodies, blogging, or my day job there is a common WHY that ties it all together.
That WHY? To create more human connection in a digital, distracted, data-driven and diseased world.
Without a doubt, I believe we have a human connection crisis on our hands and the pandemic worsened it. It’s a soapbox I could stand on and preach from for days (in comfy shoes).
I preached a little on Becca’s podcast:
“We need more connection on all levels. Deep human connection. And the only way to have it is if we truly put ourselves out there: the quirky, the funny, the sad, the vulnerable. Not in a messy, disrespectful way. But with boundaries. With respect to who you’re talking to. And with having done your own work to process emotions so that you’re not just dumping on other people.”
Putting Yourself Out There
My “work” over the past 17 years has been to overcome fears of judgment, looking foolish, and undoing learned beliefs & behaviors in order to put myself out there and create real connection:
- Public speaking is a chance to connect
- Networking is a chance to connect
- Hosting events is a chance to connect
- Taking people hiking at Blue Hills is a chance to connect
- Working on a small team is a chance to connect
- Singing & telling jokes that make people laugh and feel things is connection
- Writing this newsletter is a chance to connect
- Teaching and practicing yoga is about connecting to self
It requires a constant and consistent commitment to the work.
We Don’t Create Connection When We’re Hiding
Connection happens when we put ourselves out there. Lately, as I evolve into the next iteration of Stacey, I’ve found myself, in different ways, hiding. For example – last night I attended a comedy open mic but didn’t sign up to perform. (It’s coming, wait for it!)
This reminds me of Simon Sinek’s work, Start with Why. He calls it the Golden Circle.
- My WHY is about connection. (What’s your why?)
- My HOW is Shed The Formality. (What’s your how?)
- My WHAT. Sing, comedy, my day job, this newsletter. (What’s your what?)
Remembering my “WHY” is grounding. Suddenly all of the “WHAT” makes sense.
That’s Great for You, Stacey, What Does That Mean for Me?
I’m so glad you asked. As a reader of this newsletter, I have to suspect the following (or else you would have unsubscribed a while ago. And if the following doesn’t resonate, it’s OK to unsubscribe now.)
You crave connection yet sometimes feel uneasy putting yourself out there. That could be for any number of reasons…
- Worrying about what people think
- Performance anxiety
- Burnout & exhaustion
- Wondering if people will accept you for who you are
- Not wanting to conform to the expectations of others
- Lacking skills & knowledge
The list is long. Add to it what you want.
Here’s the Bottom Line
Life & career change often, and not surprisingly, change us. When we have the courage to clear the clutter (beliefs, behaviors & expectations) and get back to basics, engage in meaningful conversations (like the one I had with Becca) and remember the WHY of who we are and what we do, it’s so much easier to feel less lost and more connected – to ourselves, our work and each other.
Your turn to talk to me!
- I’m always looking for new, fun podcasts (lately I’m into comedy ones) Got any favorites?
- What’s the soapbox topic you could stand on and preach from for days?
- Ever reflected on your WHY? Care to share?
Leave a comment and let me know!
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About the blog
Humor, stories, and insights, delivered 2x per month, to perform without the pressure.
Topics include mental health, work, human connection, creativity and more.