What has a decade of research on authenticity, shame, vulnerability and courage taught me about “being cool?”
1. The need to “be cool” is an emotional straightjacket. It keeps us from moving, growing, stretching and feeling free.
2. “Cool” and authentic are often mutually exclusive.
3. It takes courage to be awkward, goofy, and silly – all of the feelings that we experience when we’re brave enough to try something new or risk being innovative. This is so tough for me. My mantra when I’m trying something new and feeling awkward and goofy is “Effort + the courage to show up = enough.”
4. The language of cool permeates our culture and sends messages to the people around us – especially our children. Try boycotting words like LAME, UNCOOL, and LOSER. Also, there is an entire collection of words that are used as cool armour by vulnerable teens and tweens (and adults). They include words like retard, retarded, bitch, fag, and queer. Trying to come off as cool and indifferent often leads to the use of hate language.
5. The greatest casualty of the endless pursuit of cool is connection. When we don’t let people see and know our true selves, we sacrifice connection. Without connection, we struggle for purpose and meaning.
Have a great week, be connected, and be cool you.