The Lone Wolf Syndrome

written by Erica Quam

Three things stop people from reaching out for support: ego, shame, & fear.

1. The Ego. 

image by Josh Felise

image by Josh Felise

Your ego believes you should have all the answers - that you should have it all figured out. The ego takes pride in working long hours, no vacations, not needing a lot of sleep, and being a 1-person solution-machine. The ego wants you to do what you are good at...if you always do the things you do well, you won't run into problems. Right? Wrong.

When you develop the awareness to recognize when the ego takes things too far, you can begin to tune into your own real needs - in the moment.

2. Shame.

Brené Brown talks about shame being different for men and women. "For women, shame is a web of unattainable expectations that say, Do it all, Do it perfectly, and Never let them see you struggle. For men, the primary shame mandate is, Do not be perceived as weak."

These expectations are out there - from society, media, & even ourselves. These expectations can never be lived up to.  Shame is what you experience when you don't live up to these expectations and it can lead to disconnection, disengagement, and isolation.

When you are vulnerable enough to share your struggles and challenges with people who you trust...you will get re-connected, become more engaged, & feel a deep sense of support. 

3. Fear.

There are plenty of fears that keep you from getting the support you need. Most everyone has some fear of what other people will think of us.

What will other people think...if I tell them what I'm actually struggling with? Will they think I did something wrong? Will they think that I'm weak?  Will they think I can't handle it? 

Don't look for support from just anyone...choose your friends carefully. 

Use a mantra from Wayne Dyer, "what other people think of me is none of my business." Step past the fear and get more grounded. Step back into your power. 

Get in the habit of doing your best each day and acknowledging what you've accomplished. What matters the most is what you think and say about yourself. 

There are always going to be people in our lives who will judge, criticize, and dislike things that we do or say. The reality is...that's all about them and not about you.

Don't struggle all by yourself. Don't be the lone wolf. Be proactive in reaching out to get the support that YOU need.

Which of these three stops you the most? Share a comments below.