We're The Worst When We're Alone
Sometimes you need to be alone. In fact, it's necessary for getting into "Deep Work" for some jobs, a concept made popular by Cal Newport. If you're a programmer, writer, or painter, you definitely know what I'm talking about when it comes to flow.
But how about the moments when we're out of internal flow?
While it would be awesome to be in a consistently positive/confident/purposeful state, sometimes the human brain just says no. The brain doesn't care about your feelings, it cares about surviving, and if that means using doubt to scare you from taking some kind of risk, it will do that.
And while some introverted people would say that they need to be alone most of the time, I would guess that close to none of them would say that they prefer absolutely 0% contact with other humans.
That's because other people make us better than if we just go through life alone.
- A romantic partner who makes us feel loved provides heaps of purpose.
- Impressive coworkers inspire us to work harder and become more creative.
- Accountability partners make sure we stay in line with our values, so that we are growing into the people we want to be.
Without supportive people in our life, our mind is vulnerable to the monkey inside our brain that prevents us from becoming the people we want to be. We want to accomplish our goals, but it happens slowly without the right people to guide us. We want to be great, but we fall prey to our down-talk and indulge in the plethora of distractions available to us.
Don't get me wrong: I think developing as an individual by yourself is important. We must be complete and not expect others to do that job for us.
But after reaching a certain level of completeness on our own, we need people to push us past the threshold. The only way to push past the limits is to let others in, and let them guide us where we hold blind spots.
I'm not naive enough to believe that I don't have blind spots. That's why my goal is to meet people who cover up my blind spots. I already have several friends and family members who help me accomplish just that.
Even random people can help you out here. For example, I'm pretty bad at focusing on the task at hand, so I use the peer pressure of a Starbucks to get me to get work done.
What are your blind spots, and who covers them for you?