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Why Being Independent Doesn't Always Benefit Us

We may find ourselves at least once in our lives thinking that being independent is a strength and we don’t need anyone in our lives to make us happy. The reality is, that humans have needs and when we reject and suppress these needs it causes us pain. When we tell ourselves that we don’t need anyone, where rejecting the part of us does need people around us to help meet our need for deep connection.

Connection/belonging and love are essential to living a healthy and fulfilling life. The reason many of us feel strong in being independent is that we have had relationships that caused us pain and suffering. This is where we become conflicted when it comes to forming a real connection with others and falling in love again.

What if our drive for independence is coming from a place of pain and hurt. Subconsciously we put a wall up with friends and other potential relationships? Consciously we justify the reasons why we like being alone and why we don’t need to reach out to people. At times we may feel we would love the support and help from others but feel shame or guilt towards asking for it. It’s like telling a single mother she needs to meet her own needs and be independent. That, of course, is not kind or healthy for anyone in that situation. Single parents can do it all own their own, it does not mean they’re not suffering by doing so. It is true that it takes a tribe to raise a child which means it’s important to have support in that situation.

What does it mean to look for happiness from within?

A concept in the personal development industry that is misunderstood is the expectation that you need to find happiness from within. When people say stop looking for happiness externally from you what they mean is, the new car, house, shoes or pay rise is not going to make you happy in the long run. This is true. However, how do you find happiness from within you when you're feeling miserable? It's through identifying your needs and values and living in alignment with them. Taking one step at a time to lift your spirit to a point where you feel good again. This might happen from external activities that make you feel good. So although you feel good within, it takes self-awareness, such as knowing what lights you up, plus action, such as making time to do the things that light you up.

The other concept that is thrown around is when people say, only you can help yourself. This is true on some level, such as once you have the knowledge and you truly are driven to make changes in your life, only you can take action in your life to solve your problems. However, these solutions will appear from using tools and strategies that someone else has used to help them get through a challenge or problem. Once you understand yourself at a deeper level you can trust the decisions you want to make. So, in other words the tools and resources can be external from you to begin with and as you start trusting your decisions, you will rely less and less on things external from you to help you make decisions and take action.

Where we get confused is understanding what our human needs are, then meeting them using our mind, body and spirit which is our internal navigation system plus external means such as resources, strategies and other people. When we start meeting our needs that means we’re loving ourselves and choosing to listen to our mind, body and spirit. This is when we can connect and meet needs that require other humans. It’s important to start with yourself first by acknowledging and identifying your needs and values. This does not mean you need to be perfect and love yourself completely before you can connect with others. It’s a practice, to love ourselves and meet our own needs. The way we show up in life will be mirrored back to us and if we’re not meeting a need you can be sure that it will show up in different ways in our lives. We grow and expand when we choose to listen to the signs and change something in our lives when it’s mirrored back to us and we don’t like it.

Yes, you can be happy on your own, become a monk and meditate daily. However, most of us don’t live this type of life and are healing from past experiences. Which is why I think it’s dangerous to make someone think that they can heal or help themselves without getting help or reaching out. IT’S ALL WITHIN YOU is a little annoying to hear. Yes, we have the knowledge and capability it’s just that we don’t always see things clearly when we’re caught up in it. We’ve also had decades of social conditioning that creates doubt in our lives. The noise (social conditioning) makes it hard to hear what we truly want.

How can we help each other be happy?

  1. To acknowledge that we need each other to help heal, grow and create what we want in life. That’s why we have jobs. We buy food that someone else has grown and packed. It’s an exchange. We help meet each other’s needs. When we show up for work, we get paid to help meet the needs of the organisation as well as our own.

  2. Understanding why you want to be independent? This helps us become clear on whether it is coming from a healthy or unhealthy place and could be keeping us isolated from people rather than connected.

  3. Connection is not only created with partners it is also created within friendships groups and communities. Where are you getting your need for connection and love met? I’m not talking about on a surface level but at a deep level where you can be yourself and not apologise for it?

If you find it hard to understand what your needs and values are and how you can apply them to your life, I am running 1:1 coaching sessions with worksheet instructions on identifying your human needs and values and apply them to your life. You can use this method throughout your life. The feedback I have received is that it has changed the way people are living their lives such as where they are spending their time, finances and energy. If you want to make changes in your life, this is step 1. With this information you can be sure that you’re on the right track with the changes you’re making in your life.

  • Become clear about what you want in life and how you can meet those needs

  • Create a values list that can help you navigate your next move in life

  • Create opportunities that are aligned with your needs

This is for anyone who finds life is more than just a paycheck and wants to live with more purpose and fulfillment.

Hop on the phone with me for a Free Discovery Session

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