Would you rather have thousands of surface connections with other people, or a handful of genuine connections based on mutual respect, understanding and love?

When you crave connection, do you spend your time consuming social media? Do you share your voice out with the hopes of receiving likes, shares and recognition?

Imagine the global impact if more of us spoke up and shared when we had something valuable to offer – instead of creating noise to fill a void, appear important or drive a sale.

It would be refreshing if the next big thing to catch on, was human beings everywhere openly giving the gift of genuine connection – inward with ourselves and directly with the important people in our lives.

If more of us used our technology and social media as a tool, instead of as our primary vehicle for connection, we might rediscover the lost art of being genuine in how we speak, share and connect in the world.

Lately these thoughts and questions seem to meet me at every turn. While a global shift in how we consume technology and connect with each other would be a dream come true – I realize all I can truly do is create these shifts within myself and perhaps cause a ripple or two within my circle.

The best course of action any of us can take, is to appoint ourselves in charge of our happiness and embrace our human adventure.

Here are 3 reminders I’m using to stay true to myself with how I show up, communicate and connect. If these practices resonate, give them a try and see what shifts within you.

1. Show Up With Intention

Every waking moment of the day, we get to choose how we show up. We can choose to be present, open and intentional in our actions and interactions. We can also choose to be distracted, checked out and move through our day on autopilot. We decide how we connect with others and how we connect inward with ourselves.

If we want to give ourselves and others around us the gift of presence, there are a few shifts we can put into practice right away:

  • Put down your phone/smart device when in public and instead strike up a conversation with the human beings around you.
  • When in private, take a break from technology and your devices.
  • Get comfortable tuning inward and become familiar with your inner world.
  • Choose quality over quantity in what you choose to share.
  • Get clear on your intention for sharing on social media. If you are sharing because you crave connection, see what changes by connecting with people around you instead. Or perhaps connect inward through journaling, meditating or getting outside in the fresh air.

We don’t have to fill our moments glued to our phones and news feeds. Often it comes down to forming healthy habits around how we consume technology. I don’t keep my phone in my bedroom at night on purpose. I would rather create opportunities to connect with my family, enjoy the scenery outside my window or simply be with my thoughts. If my phone was within reach, chances are I would fill these precious moments with mindless scrolling or working when I shouldn’t be.

Taking regular, intentional breaks from technology helps put the big picture of our lives in perspective. When we show up and choose to genuinely connect with ourselves and our loved ones, being present starts to feel more desirable than distracting ourselves with our devices.

2. Turn the Noise Dial Down

In today’s noisy world, it can be easy to lose sight of what is truly important and who matters the most in our lives.

Thankfully, none of us are on auto-pilot. Rather, we are all consumers and we get to choose what we consume on a moment to moment basis. If our days feel noisy, overwhelming and void of genuine connection – we can turn the noise dial down and take a break. We can be mindful of where we put our attention and intention.

Sure we can get sucked into the noise and various social media channels. It can be enticing to want to shout our truth and have our voice heard too. But, instead of adding to the noise for the sake of being seen and heard, we can practice what it feels like to only share when we have something truly important to say. We can contribute to our global community in a meaningful way without applying constant pressure and force.

Everyone is worthy of being seen and heard – just because some people choose to shout doesn’t mean their message is more important. Intentional whispers of truth are far more powerful than loud booming voices. Less is always more, when it comes navigating our way through the sea of noise.

3. Be True to You

When we honour who we are and stay grounded in our truth, we can’t help but show up in a genuine way. When we are okay with who we are, in all of our human darkness and light, we start to notice and accept the same traits in others around us.

Making healthy connections with others comes naturally when we stay true to who we are. If we hide our truth in order to be liked and accepted, the connections we do make tend to crumble over time. The same is true when we sacrifice quality of connection for quantity of connection. If our connections aren’t based on anything real or genuine, we end up feeling more lonely than if we were on our own.

The easiest way to form meaningful lasting connections, is to accept ourselves and love who we are. When we love who we are, it’s more comfortable showing up exactly as we are. When we are at peace with who we are, we aren’t expecting other people to fulfill our sense of happiness or worth. The people we most resonate with have a way of showing up when we live life from our inner truth.

Being true to who we are doesn’t stem from having more connections, likes or shares on social media. Nor does it come from creating a giant platform to yell from. We begin the journey home to liking who we are as we are, when we don’t need anything external to feel at home with who we are.


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Originally published at emilymadill.com


  • Emily Madill is an author and certified professional coach, ACC with a BA in business and psychology. Emily is one of Thrive Global's Editors-at-large and a coach at BetterUp. She has published 11 titles in the area of self-development and empowerment, both for children and adults. You can find her writing in Chicken Soup for the Soul:Think Positive for Kids; Thrive Global; The Huffington Post; TUT. com; Best Self Magazine; MindBodyGreen; The Muse; WellthyLiving.ca; TinyBuddha; Aspire Magazine and others. Emily has a private coaching practice and an online program offering courses that support others to create lasting habits around self-love, well-being and all things related to time and weekly planning. She lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, with her husband, two sons and their sweet rescue dog Annie. Learn more at: emilymadill.com