During this time of isolation, I worry that we’ve developed a habit of going it alone.
Sure we hear the mantras of “We are together alone” and other encouragements about how we are all in this together, but really, it’s just you in your house with your family struggling at times to get through another day. That makes us lonely and can leave us feeling that we might be the only one struggling. And when we take a peek at our newsfeed or the news, we might just begin to feel that maybe we are the only ones who are struggling.
Maybe we just are not good at going it alone. Everyone seems to be…
But that is simply not true. We humans need each other, and we need the encouragement of others to cheer us on during most seasons of our lives, and this one is certainly no different.
And while reaching out is hard, I think in many ways it can be easier to do than ever. There are literally hundreds of places where you can get support from other parents just like you. Our Parent Academy is just one, and we have online support groups every week.
It still takes an effort, and when you are depressed or apathetic, that effort can seem overwhelming.
So today I am offering 6 reasons why you should resist the temptation to stay or grow in isolation and instead, find a way to reach out and find community. The power of community, so you don’t have to go it alone.
- Collective wisdom. No one person ever has all of the answers, and regardless of the amount of Google-fu you may have, consulting with experts is always going to give you better information. You still have the right to stay your course, but doing it knowing that you’ve sought out some answers makes you a more confident traveler.
- It pushes our limits. Having some support, collaboration and friendly comparison to push yourself just a bit further than you would have done on your own. It’s sort of a time of ‘if they can do it, then maybe I can too’ moment.
- Support and belief. Some days those big goals just seem impossible. On those days when you most want to give up, you need to lean on your community the most. They believe in you. Sometimes, probably more than you believe in yourself.
- New ideas come from connection. I truly believe that when you are working within a community of like-minded people that the wisdom of crowds is considerably greater than any one person working alone. Our divergent world views and lenses mean that we all approach the exact same problem slightly differently. Those new perspectives can give you a whole new way of looking at your challenges.
- Borrowed motivation is sometimes needed. Even on those days when your belief in yourself isn’t waning, doing what needs to get done can seem overwhelming. Looking around your community can leave you inspired and also validated. There are others in your boat, and they are paddling, so can you.
- Accountability. If you’re an uber-responsible person, you may not want to admit to people you care about who are pulling for you that something didn’t get done. That’s a good reason to have a community where you don’t have an overwhelming personal connection to. You can admit that you are struggling without feeling guilty. You can be accountable, but not discountable. There’s nothing like having to be accountable to others to up your game.
Allowing others to help is hard, but it ultimately raises everyone’s game. By reaching out to others, you are also grabbing a hand that might need you to give it a little tug someday.
So carve out 10 minutes today, maybe right now, and sign up for an online community. Click on the links above, or just drop us a message online.
Remember, you don’t have to go it alone.
Joy is originally from the Central Valley of California, where she was raised on a farm and discovered her love for growing things. As the mother of a blended family of 7 adults and the grandmother of 9, she's learned many lessons about supporting the growth of people.