If being connected to one another is a core need of the human condition then why is it so hard for some of us to achieve that state? Why does our fear of being rejected overpower our craving to find acceptance? Why can we so easily recall the many times that we have been hurt but forget the many times that we have been shown kindness?

Early on in life we come to believe “truths” about ourselves – “I am odd” or “I am unlovable” or “People won’t like me when they get to know me.” These “truths” may have been told to you directly or you may have come to know them indirectly through life experiences. Once you believed them both at the intellectual and felt sense level your confirmation bias ensured the beliefs would continue to solidify.

So how do you get your need for connection met when everything is telling you that you will fail…again? You just have to DO. You have to have the courage to do the very thing that you fear the most and know that you will be okay even if you don’t get the results that you want. You have to create small experiments for yourself. Make the risk low enough that you know that you will be able to handle the disappointment if it happens. If it does, it does, and you will be okay. If the experiment works and things turned out, as well as, or better than you expected then make the next experiment a little more challenging. The risks should never be greater than you feel you can tolerate if things don’t go the way you want.

Of course these experiments will provoke fear and anxiety! But desiring connection and not having it carries its own pain. Creating a new truth starts with great courage. Small experiments. No risk too great that you will not be okay. In the end, hopefully your payoff will be the connection that you had previously felt was not possible.

Shari Brickin, MA MFTI Trauma Therapy Santa Monica. If you feel you might need therapy, please call Shari Brickin at 310.467.6473