When we are communicating, the more we can cross a line from safety into risk the better our connection is with others. Very often, we stay within the boundaries of safety using factual information that’s dry and easy. I realise I can do this, launch off into conversations about the weather or a journey that turned out to be hell. Life is too short for conversations that stem from being on automatic pilot. The more we can share our ideas and feelings, the more we are communicating to the best of our ability. It means using our imagination and passion to inspire others.
Inevitably, sharing our feelings is a risky thing to do. It means that we lay ourselves open to be judged by others and expose our vulnerabilities. However, the less we share, the more we’re suppressing our own identity, and our identity relates closely to our self-esteem.
Great conversations are born when one person shares a vulnerability with a listener who relates to that experience. We co-create empathy by sharing feelings and ideas.
Amy Purdy’s Ted talk, Living Beyond Limits opens with, ‘If your life were a book and you were the author, how would you want your story to go? That’s the question that changed my life forever.’ Amy shares her experiences with vulnerability and humour, she’s a brilliant example of the power of open communication. I urge you to watch her talk and be inspired to take a few new risks.
By Emma Darwall Smith