We Americans idealize independence. Even the most socialistic, progressive people I know can get down on themselves when they can’t hack it and get things done all alone. It's a weird thing we've all convinced ourselves of. We know deep down in our guts that we need people. Loneliness has a purpose: it tells us that it's time to reach out to people. But instead of reaching out when we're feeling down or lonely, we think, "No, I've got to do it on my own." Nonsense! I KNOW this stuff. I studied couple and family therapy – all about the importance of connection and how people interact and help each other and I STILL hate on myself for not being able to get stuff done when I try to exist in a vacuum. Reprogramming your brain is hard.
I work with people all the time who think they have to do it all on their own. I think a lot of our struggle comes from this belief. I'm always asking my clients who they can reach out to. Whatever it is we're working on, other people can help. At some point in our work, they often say, “Hey, Lauren. I just realized that when I involve someone else I’m able to really stick to my guns and get stuff done!” I congratulate them and often laugh and say, “Who knew?! Oh wait, that’s what we’re doing right now!”Read More