Monday, January 6, 2014

Detachment and Disconnection (EXPANDED)

Two nights ago, I posted the following #notetoSELF on my Instagram Page.

note to self (and everybody else): On why I'm sad

There is a difference between detachment and disconnection. When you detach, you put emotional distance between yourself and the outcome. 

When you disconnect, you put emotional distance between yourself and the process.
Disconnection=isolation and pain

Unfortunately, our inability to detach...
often leads to disconnection....
which ultimately causes the disappointment.....

(I must) fight the urge to disconnect and detach instead.


Like every other #notetoSELF, I wrote it after spending the entire day struggling with a career related personal issue. As you can see, the note discusses the difference between DETACHMENT and DISCONNECTION. However, after reading the note, I felt that there was more to be said on the topic. Why? Because in my experience, I've found that each of us experience different levels of attachment and connection depending on the circumstance.

Beyond that, many of us are driven differently, depending on the area of our lives that is in question. For example, one can be Results Driven at work and Validation Driven in one’s love life. That’s why it’s so hard to place hard and fast rules and how and when to detach or disconnect (although I would argue that disconnection is almost always isolating and painful).  I guess what’s most important is not assign judgment to the way in which we choose to express our attachment and connection. I think it’s just one of those things that vary by person, by circumstance and by ability.  Plus, I have always felt that the more I understand myself (without judgment) the better chance I have at improving on the things I want to improve (without pressure). So here is my attempt at understanding myself and the world through the lens of attachment and connection. At the end of the summaries, I have included where I think I fall in the 3 major areas of my life (career, relationships, and spirituality). I encourage you to do the same. Feel free to post your list below or wherever else you come across this blog. Happy SELF-help-ing!

Personal worth IS NOT defined by outcomes
Externally motivated

"If you like me...I like me"

Human beings are uniquely designed to want connection. As such our first instinct is to put the majority of our self worth in the hands of other people. We think if other people like me…then I am good enough. In this circumstance our “work” or what we can offer the world is almost never a factor. Here we don’t care whether people like what we do, we only care if they like who we are. We chiefly want to be good, likeable people.

These are the people-pleasers of the world.

Personal worth IS defined by outcomes
externally motivated

“IF you like IT....I like me”

Validation driven people are those who need their work to be valued by others in order to feel personally valuable. These people put themselves second and their work first. It’s as if they feel that emotionally disconnecting themselves from their work is a sign of maturity or piety.   Keep in mind “work” can be defined as anything from the literal work they produce to the feelings that are able to elicit in other people. However, since they only feel valuable if other people like what they are able to do for them, they are still seeking validation from others to feel worthy.  

These are the martyrs and workaholics of the world.

Personal worth IS defined by outcomes
Internally motivated

"IF IT works...I like me"

Results driven people have removed all personal feelings from their worth equation. They have decided that their personal worth lies in their ability to get things done. These people care about making money, hitting goals and reaching self defined landmarks. While their motivation does not come from other people directly, if they are not successful or do not meet the goals they set for themselves, they feel unworthy.

These are the perfectionists of the world.

Personal worth IS NOT defined by outcomes
Internally motivated

"I like iT...I like me"

Purpose driven people are motivated solely by their own personal relationship with their higher selves. They do not measure themselves by either their work or their worth in the eyes of others. They are motivated to do good work and be good people simply because it feels good, right, and pleasant to them. It is not that they don’t care what other people think, or that they are uninterested in producing quality “work,” it’s just that they don’t allow either of these external occurrences to determine who they believe they are and what they are able to produce.

These are the leaders of the world.

Kenya's List:
Career: Validation Driven
Relationships: Approval Driven
Spirituality: Purpose Driven

What's yours? 

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