You love your work (most of the time).
You care about the people you work for (almost always).
And that’s wonderful, except… sometimes you feel disconnected from your work, from the heart and soul of it, and that really sucks.
Disconnection happens because you’re human
Why do you sometimes feel disconnected? As near as I can tell, it’s because you are human. You’re subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. To the vicissitudes of life. (I love the word vicissitudes, don’t you?)
Which, I think, boils down to fear. Fear of losing connection.
It’s a nifty Catch-22
We’re barely into this article, and I’ve managed to get us nicely cornered. We started with the problem of disconnection. At the root of disconnection is the fear of losing connection. Fear makes us feel more disconnected, which feeds our fear of losing connection, which…etcetera…
And etcetera, ad infinitum.
There is a way out, but first… let’s go in
I promise there is a way out of this Catch-22, but first, let’s see how fear of disconnection looks in your business. Because otherwise you can suffer from a lot yucky symptoms without realizing what’s going on.
Fear is sneaky
Fear is sneaky. The fear of disconnection often lurks under the guise of guilt and self-blame. (Gee, Molly, this is such a fun topic. Why haven’t you written about it before?)
A classic symptom is that marketing feels hard. Everything you try feels artificial, manipulative, phony. Or you have zero confidence that you have anything of real value to offer to begin with. So you put things out that don’t feel quite right, or you don’t put things out at all.
And whichever option you choose you feel more and more disconnected.
Then the self-blame begins
I don’t know about you, but here’s where my mind goes next:
I wouldn’t feel disconnected if…
…I were less grasping.
…I were more giving.
…I had more vision.
You get the drift.
When it feels like your soul is disconnected from your business, you blame yourself for not being as generous, sincere, or visionary as you should be.
Then you question your motives.
But your motives are not the problem
I know it feels like your motives are the culprit here. That if you were more high-minded your soul and your business would be connected, in alignment. You would experience heart-centered prosperity and live happily ever after–more or less.
But, with all due respect, I think you’d be wrong.
You’re motives aren’t the problem.
Fear is the problem.
It’s okay to be afraid
I know it’s okay to be afraid because it happens all the time. That’s reality. And I’m with Byron Katie: When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.
Reality rules, and the reality is that sometimes you’re afraid.
I’d go further. I’d say there’s some gift, some blessing, lurking within the fear, or you wouldn’t have it.
What the heck could that be?
The gift is belonging
The gift lurking in fear is belonging.
Fear is the anticipation of loss. And the ultimate human loss is not belonging. Being thrown out of the tribe.
Isolation drive prisoners insane. Babies who are isolated from caring touch fail to thrive.
So, perhaps at the core of every fear is the longing to be part of something larger than ourselves.
A longing to belong.
When you know you long to belong, you know what to do
When you long to belong, reach out.
I’m not going to pretend that it’s easy to reach out when you’re afraid. If it were, we wouldn’t feel disconnected in the first place.
But when you understand the dynamic, you can surrender instead of arguing with your fear. Something in you softens, and as you experience the longing to connect, your heart does that magical thing.
It reaches out and touches another heart.
It’s like synapses
The millions (kazillions?) of connections in your brain take place across gaps, known as a synapses. Specialized cells send and receive impulses across these synapses, impulses that we ultimately experience as thought or emotion or sensation.
And I think the heart has similar sending and receiving cells that operate over similar, if more distant synapses. There’s some evidence that this happens literally, at the level of physiology. But whether literal or figurative, I know for certain that when you surrender to fear, your heart opens, and something in it reaches across time and space and connects with another heart.
It might feel like a sudden rush of gratitude for a client or appreciation for a colleague. Maybe you find yourself engrossed in a book about your work, life, the universe, or everything.
Maybe it’s just that you become aware of beauty.
Whatever it looks like, you start to feel connected again, and fear lessens.
The way out is through
I know you already know this, and maybe it has been helpful to be reminded. They way out of disconnection is through it. When you realize how much you long for love, love appears.
And in business, as in life, love is all there is.