Today on RAW WITH THE LANDLOCKED MERMAID I’m talking with my good friend, fellow artist, teacher, and central Ohio business owner Chad Diblasio. Known for his ability to ask thought-provoking questions and provide clarity and direction, Chad is on a mission to be a catalyst for positive change.
This episode is full of profound insights on the hierarchy of leadership, intimacy and vulnerability in relationships, reframing our mindset to step outside comfort zones, and the transformational power of genuine connections. Join us on this journey of self-discovery and growth and learn how to cultivate fulfilling connections in your own life.
How the Hierarchy of Leadership Keeps Us Disconnected
Chad came into my life at a pivotal time where I was looking for others willing to pour into me, not just have me pour into them. We have both been in leadership positions in the creative community and have felt the pressure to maintain a certain image. There seems to be a divide within the community between those who want to maintain a pedestal and those who seek genuine connections.
We discuss the challenge of creating a celebrity-like persona and the desire for authentic connections. Chad shares his own struggles with imposter syndrome and the conflict between presenting perfection and embracing the messy aspects of creativity and entrepreneurship. We also talk about the importance of nourishing leaders who are often seen as pillars and providers, but need nourishment themselves.
Chad shares how he is currently shifting away from the expectations placed upon him as a leader and is instead focusing on making a meaningful impact instead. He wants to create something that connects people and makes them feel less alone, rather than seeking mass awareness or personal recognition. True happiness is found in genuine connections and intimate moments, deep conversations and emotional support.
How to Cultivate True Intimacy
We dive into a discussion on intimacy and how our perspective on healthy relationships have evolved since both leaving long-term partnerships. Chad shares his insights on the self-centered nature of intimacy in modern relationships, and how intimacy should be a more balanced and mutual exchange where both parties actively see and value each other’s authentic selves. True intimacy requires vulnerability, trust, and sharing and receiving with open hearts.
Society often settles for superficial partnerships without fully understanding the depth and complexity of intimate connections. We also talk about how unhealthy relationships are built on attachment, which revolves around external factors like shared possessions or the ease of life, rather than genuine emotional connection.
If we can shift our mindset to prioritize genuine intimacy and invest in learning how to create meaningful relationships, whether romantic or friendships, we can cultivate more fulfilling connections and develop a deeper understanding of what truly matters in their lives.
After growing up in an environment where making mistakes was not celebrated or seen as part of the learning process, Chad has had to learn to allow himself to be messy. Being messy means being open about one’s emotions and experiences, even when they may not be perfect or positive. This is necessary for creating authentic, genuine relationships.
I’ll admit that I avoided messy situations in the past, particularly in my marriage. I used to believe that avoiding messy emotions and holding onto a specific outcome made me stronger, but going through a divorce forced me to confront my emotions and realize that my avoidance was driven by ego and pride.
This ego gets in the way of genuine connection. I’ve found that true strength lies in acknowledging one’s vulnerability and embracing the connections and support that are fundamental to our well-being.
Reframing Your Mindset to Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
Unlearning is a powerful process that requires us to challenge and release the patterns, beliefs, and behaviors that no longer serve us. It involves questioning the familiar and stepping into the unknown, which can be uncomfortable and daunting. Chad shares his own experiences of leaving relationships and realizing the need to let go of unhappiness, even when it feels safe and predictable. It takes courage to confront our fears and embrace change, but there is transformative potential that comes with allowing ourselves to feel and experience life fully.
We also discuss the need to adjust our upper limit – a mental barrier that subconsciously keeps us within our comfort zone. It involves recognizing that we have the power to create new experiences and relationships that align with our desires and values. By slowly adjusting our upper limit, we can open ourselves up to greater joy, fulfillment, and connection.
We reflect on how our past experiences, both positive and negative, have shaped who we are today, and the beauty to be found in missing something or someone who was impactful to your life. Chad offers tangible suggestions for reframing our mindset about what is truly important in life.
Start by being honest with yourself, embracing vulnerability, and acknowledging and accepting your true desires and emotions. Take small steps towards change and gradually expand what feels comfortable. By choosing what truly matters and having the courage to pursue it, you can live a life that is fully felt and experienced.