The series final of the Apple TV show “Ted Lasso” aired recently, a sad day for many but also a good choice to end the show after three perfect seasons and not drag it out for every dollar.
I watched it from the start… An ‘early adopter’ because a friend said “Hey Jimi, this show is for you…” She was right. I instantly liked the idea of people acting kindly in a stereotypically macho environment. The show caught attention pretty quickly around the world because, in the world of television, few shows have made as significant an impact on normalising healthy relationships (especially those between men) as Ted Lasso.
This hit series offers valuable lessons that can transform our own relationships in the real world and in this article, we will delve into the key principles and practical strategies depicted in Ted Lasso, providing actionable steps to help you cultivate healthy connections with the people in your life.
Lesson 1: Embrace Vulnerability for Deeper Connections
In the world of Ted Lasso, vulnerability reigns supreme as a powerful tool for building deep and meaningful connections. It’s time we all follow suit and embrace vulnerability as a strength rather than a weakness. Whether it’s acknowledging our fears, sharing our insecurities, or expressing gratitude and appreciation, opening ourselves up to vulnerability paves the way for more authentic and healthy relationships. The great news is that it has been scientifically proven by many wonderful people and heavily popularised through the work of Brene Brown among others. We know it works.
Ted Lasso exemplifies this lesson through his willingness to share his struggles with anxiety. In one episode, we witness him fearlessly discussing his mental health, even though doing so could cost him his job and his reputation. This act demonstrates the importance of seeking support from others. But by exposing his vulnerability, Ted not only strengthens his bond with those around him but also creates a safe space for others to share their own challenges and insecurities. That is leadership.
Embracing vulnerability is often seen as a sign of weakness in our society. We’re taught to put on a brave face, hide our flaws, and project an image of strength. But Ted Lasso challenges this belief, showing us that vulnerability is a source of strength and an opportunity for growth.
When you embrace vulnerability, you invite others to do the same. By sharing your fears, insecurities, and struggles, you create an atmosphere of trust and authenticity. People feel more comfortable opening up to you, knowing that they won’t be judged or criticised.
Think about the last time you held back from expressing your true feelings or hesitated to share a personal story. What if you had taken that leap and allowed yourself to be vulnerable? How might the dynamics of your relationships have changed? By embracing vulnerability, we create a deeper connection with others, fostering an environment of trust and understanding.
It’s important to note that vulnerability is not about seeking pity or attention. It’s about being honest with ourselves and others, even when it’s uncomfortable. And it’s also about acknowledging our weaknesses and imperfections while still striving to grow and improve.
So, how can you embrace vulnerability in your own life? Start by taking small steps. Share your thoughts and feelings with a trusted friend or loved one. Be open about your challenges and ask for support when needed. Practice self-compassion and remind yourself that vulnerability is a courageous act.
Remember, vulnerability is not a one-time event; it’s a continuous practice. It requires ongoing effort and a willingness to show up as your authentic self. By embracing vulnerability, you create space for deeper connections, meaningful conversations, and personal growth.
As Ted Lasso would say, “Be curious, not judgemental.”
Lesson 2: Cultivate Empathy and Compassion
One of the most powerful lessons we can learn from Ted Lasso is the importance of cultivating empathy and compassion in our relationships. The show teaches us that understanding and kindness can go a long way in creating connections that transcend superficiality.
Ted Lasso embodies this lesson through his unwavering empathy towards others. He always takes the time to truly listen and understand their perspectives, even when faced with difficult or challenging situations.
In one memorable episode, Ted recognises the insecurities of the team’s kit man, Nate, and goes out of his way to boost his confidence. Through small acts of kindness and understanding, Ted not only strengthens his relationship with Nate but also inspires him to believe in himself. It really didn’t take much.
Empathy and compassion are essential qualities that allow us to connect on a deeper level. When we take the time to understand someone else’s experiences, challenges, and emotions, we create an environment of trust and support.
To cultivate empathy and compassion in your own life, start by practising active listening. Instead of waiting for your turn to speak, focus on truly hearing and understanding what the other person is saying. Put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine how they might be feeling. This empathetic approach builds bridges and fosters a sense of understanding.
Another way to cultivate empathy is by engaging in acts of kindness and compassion. Look for opportunities to help others without expecting anything in return. It can be as simple as offering a helping hand, lending an ear, or expressing gratitude for someone’s presence in your life. These small gestures can have a profound impact on your relationships and create a ripple effect of positivity.
It’s important to remember that empathy and compassion are not limited to those closest to us. Extend these qualities to strangers, colleagues, and even those you may find challenging. Each interaction is an opportunity to practice empathy and understanding, ultimately creating a more compassionate and connected world.
In a society that often emphasises competition and individual success, cultivating empathy and compassion can feel like a radical act. But by following the example set by Ted Lasso, we can shift the narrative and create a world where kindness and understanding are valued above all else.
As Ted Lasso would say, “Believe in yourself, care for others, and be curious about the world.” Let empathy and compassion guide your actions, and watch your relationships grow with a newfound depth and understanding.
Lesson 3: Embrace Authenticity and Be Yourself
Ted Lasso reminds us that there’s power in embracing our true selves, flaws and all. It’s about rejecting the need for approval or validation from others and finding strength in our unique quirks and imperfections.
Ted, the epitome of authenticity, doesn’t pretend to be someone he’s not. He doesn’t conform to societal expectations or compromise his values. Instead, he embraces his genuine nature and displays it proudly. And guess what? People are drawn to him because of it.
Take the example of Ted’s encounter with Jamie Tartt, the “arrogant football player”. Rather than reacting with hostility or judgment, Ted treats Jamie with kindness and respect, staying true to himself. As a result, Jamie’s defences crumble, and a genuine connection forms.
To embrace authenticity in your own life, start by examining your values and what truly matters to you. Let go of the need for external validation and focus on aligning your actions with your authentic self. It’s about celebrating your quirks, honouring your strengths, and accepting your flaws.
Authenticity isn’t about perfection or having all the answers. It’s about embracing who you are, unapologetically. It’s about showing up with your vulnerabilities and imperfections, inviting others to do the same.
To cultivate authenticity, practice being honest with yourself. Reflect on areas where you may be conforming or suppressing your true self to please others. Take small steps toward alignment, even if it feels uncomfortable at first. Embrace your uniqueness, let go of the fear of judgment, and stand tall in your authenticity.
In a world that often encourages conformity, authenticity is a rebellious act. It’s a declaration that you are enough just as you are, deserving of love and acceptance. By embracing authenticity, you inspire those around you to do the same, creating deeper connections and a more fulfilling life.
Authenticity requires courage, vulnerability, and self-acceptance. But the rewards are immense—a sense of freedom, deeper connections, and a life lived on your own terms. Embrace your true self, and watch as your relationships flourish with authenticity, genuine connection, and a touch of Ted Lasso’s magic.
CAVEAT: Authenticity can be a false idol. You can ‘authentically’ be a dick, authentically selfish or authentically a coward. The key is to be authentically GOOD. Not ‘nice’, good and not ‘good’ as in an achievement but ‘good’ as in your heart is in the right place. And if you can’t be ‘good’ be silent, or still.
Lesson 4: Embrace Collaboration and Sportsmanship
For Ted Lasso the spirit of collaboration and sportsmanship carries hefty importance, defying the cutthroat nature typically associated with competitive sports. It’s a lesson we can apply to our own relationships by fostering a sense of teamwork and cooperation. Instead of focusing solely on personal success; celebrate the achievements of others, offer support during setbacks, and prioritize collective triumph over individual glory.
Ted Lasso teaches us that true victory lies not just in winning, but in creating an environment where everyone feels valued and supported. The camaraderie among the team on the show exemplifies the power of collaboration. They lift each other up, overcome obstacles together, and create a cohesive unit where individual strengths contribute to the collective success.
Embracing collaboration and sportsmanship in our relationships means shifting our mindset from competition to cooperation. Rather than viewing others as rivals, we recognize that we can achieve more when we work together. This mindset shift requires setting aside our ego and embracing the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats.
To embody collaboration and sportsmanship, actively seek opportunities to support and uplift others. Celebrate their accomplishments and be genuinely happy about their success. Offer a helping hand when they face challenges and encourage a culture of mutual support and encouragement. Remember that your own success is not diminished by the success of others, but rather amplified by the positive energy and collective achievement.
So, let Ted Lasso be your guide in embracing collaboration and sportsmanship. Celebrate the victories of others as if they were your own, offer support during challenging times, and prioritize the success of the team over individual accomplishments. In doing so, you’ll foster an atmosphere of camaraderie and create healthy relationships built on trust, cooperation, and shared achievements.
The TV show Ted Lasso has captured the hearts of viewers around the world by showcasing the power of empathy, vulnerability, and authentic connections. Through its engaging storytelling and relatable characters, the show has become a powerful catalyst for normalizing healthy relationships, especially between men.
By drawing inspiration from Ted Lasso, we can learn valuable lessons on how to improve our own relationships in the real world. From embracing vulnerability and practicing active listening to prioritising empathy and collaboration, the show offers a roadmap for building deeper connections and fostering a more compassionate and supportive environment.
Remember, it’s not just about winning on the field, but about winning in our relationships. By applying the lessons from Ted Lasso, we can create a positive ripple effect in our lives, inspiring others to embrace vulnerability, celebrate each other’s successes, and cultivate a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship.
Let Ted Lasso be a reminder that healthy relationships are built on a foundation of understanding, empathy, and mutual support. Take the lessons learned from the show and apply them in your own life, and you’ll witness the transformative power of connection and the joy that comes from embracing authentic, meaningful relationships. Let’s make the world a little more like Ted Lasso’s AFC Richmond — one relationship at a time.