Western society loves its steady junk food diet of independence and autonomy.
We are constantly being force-fed the idea of self-sufficiency.
“Become amazing, do it by yourself, don’t complain… Be all that you can be… You don’t need someone else to complete you… Depending on others is a sign of weakness.”
Being overweight on this ‘Me First’ type of thinking has caused us to be severely malnourished in terms of having fulfilling relationships.
When you are overly focused on your needs and your happiness, then you stop focusing on others. Independence and connection are not mutually exclusive.
But instead of finding a partner we become too independent. We stay busy working on our lives and our selves, to avoid any semblance of connection and intimacy. We fear that if we slow down we will feel the loneliness that our hearts are trying to tell us about.
How To Lean On Others In A Healthy Way
Here are three quick steps to get you back to a place of connection and fulfillment.
1. Challenge Your Beliefs
First off, it’s important to think about where you try to ‘go it alone’ too much. Where in your life are you afraid to ask for help? In love? In your job? From your parents or friends?
And then think about why you try and go it alone. Are you trying to prove to someone that you are capable of being independent? Do you feel like you would be perceived as weak if you asked for help?
Realize that no person can exist completely independently of others. Humans are a social species and we need each other to survive. At a certain point, you’re going to have to let others in.
2. Take Stock Of Your Social Circle
How many people in your life would you say really know you? I mean, like, REALLY know you. They know your fears, your insecurities, your dreams, your aspirations…
If your answer is anywhere between 1-5, that’s amazing. That is already better than most people who report having zero confidantes in their lives.
But if you can’t truthfully answer that anyone really knows you, maybe it’s time to start reaching out more often.
3. Listen To Your Fears
Do you know those things that you’re nervous about doing? Maybe you don’t want to reach out because it will make you look desperate… needy… powerless. Or you fear that it might make you indebted to someone or lower than them in some way?
Well, congratulations, whatever whisper in your mind just popped up… you just signed up to do it. Our fears and insecurities can be our greatest teachers when we start listening to them more often.
What Do We Really Need?
The truth of the matter is that, as much as we try to resist it, we need other people. We need them to teach us, to nurture us, to love us, and to help us grow.
And as happy, independent, and self-sufficient as you can become on your own, a much faster path to fulfillment would be embracing the intimacy and community that already exists all around you.
If your societal conditioning is getting in the way of letting you reach out for help, maybe it’s time you started to listen to your heart instead of popular culture.
Dedicated to your success,
Written by Jordan Gray
Originally appeared in Jordan GrayConsulting
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