You’re not alone.
When you find yourself in a difficult situation, one of responsibility and decision making, it’s easy to feel isolated. Frustration and self-doubt can creep in. Before long, you’re not sure if you’re doing things the right way; you may feel like you’re the only one who knows what you’re going through.
When this happens, you start to live inside your head, convincing yourself of the “truth” you’ve come to believe. “I’m so alone in my confusion.” “I feel so alone in my frustration.” “Am I doing this right? I’m probably doing it all wrong.”
“Everyone else knows what they’re doing except me.”
When you get stressed and isolated, you can slip into self-pity—woe is me—and feel like your burdens are heavier than other people’s. It can be lonely.
All of these thoughts of uncertainty running unchecked around your head slowly help create an impression that you’re somehow different, worse, or less than everyone else.
You get a knot in your stomach that doesn’t go away. You don’t sleep so well. You have headaches. The worry can consume you.
Over the years, I’ve hosted a lot of leadership programs that brought people together from around the country and around the world. People would talk about the challenges they’re facing. Many people felt alone in those challenges.
At the end of the programs, the most frequent response from the participants was, “I thought I was the only person with this problem. It’s so great to know I’m not alone.”
It’s the same for you. You’re not alone.
The other day I received an email reminding me of this. The note said, “I am so thankful to receive your emails. They continue to motivate and encourage me to find my place and go forward with my goals. They let me know that I am not the only one who sometimes feels burned out with my job or overwhelmed with fear of a far-fetched new idea.”
When the fear of embarrassment, making a mistake, losing approval, or failure start to get inside you, it’s easy to withdraw.
But the fact is we all get frustrated. We all feel fear at some time or other. We all feel alone once in a while, thinking that no one else is feeling what we’re feeling.
There’s something comforting in being reminded that we all go through similar feelings.
The solution is to get outside your head and start interacting with people. Stay connected. Ask for help. Understand that your challenges, frustrations, and emotions aren’t unique.
You can find people in your industry who are facing the same work challenges as you. You can find friends who are having the same personal issues as you. There is information all around that can help you maintain perspective and not get caught up in the emotion of frustration and self-doubt.
No, you’re not alone.