When people start off on their journey of self improvement, the focus tends to be obviously on themselves. They want to improve in certain areas of their lives.
They also tend to need to know that they can do it, that â€śitâ€ť being whatever goal theyâ€™re striving for. They feel the need to prove to themselves that they can get it done so as to provide a future foundation of self confidence to build upon for tackling future goals.
So they get to work. Read some books, put their plans in motion, take action and see the progress that results and they become happy with it.
But during this process, an unseen potential byproduct emerges for some people and that is simply this:
They begin to rely too much on themselves.
Donâ€™t get me wrong. Iâ€™m a firm believer that everyone should be self reliant but only up to a certain degree. Itâ€™s important to notice that when we go too far with this concept, we set ourselves up for a world of hurt.
A person can generally do a lot of things on their own and when they do those things, they tend to start feeling proud of their accomplishments and also see a rise in self esteem and self confidence but by doing so, set themselves up for disaster by equating success with the results obtained by themselves alone.
Thatâ€™s all good and dandy when the challenges are manageable but as higher and higher goals are set, it gets tougher and tougher to meet them by oneself. Yet the yardstick to measure was solely based on what one can do.
So they put too much pressure on themselves and they inevitably crack under it and along with that, witness a drop in their self esteem and self confidence.
When that happens, realize that thereâ€™s nothing really wrong with you.
Just realize that you canâ€™t get it done by yourself.
And that you will inevitably need to get help from others.
And this is a crucial stage to take note of because it marks the end of the unconscious pursuit of total self reliance and the beginning of the realization that itâ€™s too much to rely only on ourselves.
Up to a certain point, you can do things on your own, but you then start to get diminishing marginal returns if you continue to follow that individual path.
The material needed to build the bridge from total self reliance to the realization that we need help from others is simply this:
Humility tends to get swept under the rug when we see all the progress that we ourselves made â€“ all by ourselves, without any help in the beginning stages of our self improvement journey. We tend to make the mistake of lulling ourselves into a false sense of safety in our own seemingly capable hands. There seems to be nothing that we canâ€™t tackle by ourselves.
That is, until time passes and the goals are set higher and higher and we realize that itâ€™s too much for one person to do everything.
Those inspirational â€śself-madeâ€ť stories you hear – rarely were they actually self made. There was always a business partner, a supportive wife, parents, siblings, close friends, investors, teachers, mentors, etc., in the background that helped contribute to the individualâ€™s success, but didnâ€™t get their share of the limelight.
Inspirational stories tend to focus too much on the individual in the story and not enough on his/her supporting cast in an effort to highlight the potential that each individual has and while thatâ€™s a noble effort, it can backfire on people in the sense that they begin to believe they can set a really high goal and do everything on their own to accomplish it and get depressed when they realize they canâ€™t.
Itâ€™s good to become self reliant in the sense that you learn personal responsibility, discipline, focus, and you take action on your own accord but then realize you will inevitably need the help of others later on down the road.
With that in mind, start working on your â€śsocial gameâ€ť. Learn the fine art of conversation, persuasion, negotiation, building rapport, establishing and maintaining relationships, building new ones, etc.
Working with other people makes things a whole lot easier, helps get a lot of things done faster, saves time and money, etc.(if done right) and this is proven everyday via many of the successful organizations around us.
When you start collaborating with others, realize that itâ€™s essentially self improvement on steroids. All the benefits that youâ€™ve experienced by yourself early on in your journey get multiplied tenfold. Your knowledge increases, you get encouragement from others when times are tough, you get great ideas when you brainstorm together, your capability to get things done in a quick manner is increased tenfold as well, etc.
And when you realize that one can only go so far by themselves before they need help from others, you will begin to see everyone in the world not as a stranger, but as your own fellow brother and sister.