"I keep a lot to myself because it is difficult to find people who understand me, not judge me & take advantage of me".
These are the exact words expressed by one of the executives at the top after a deep conversation around current challenges. Most of the successful & driven people that I have come across share the same piece of concern. What is your greatest challenge at this point in time? And to this they just say, "Combating loneliness. It's lonely at the top. It doesn't feel great. You miss being just heard genuinely. Most of the time it is the role that is being heard to & not the person embodying that role. You miss expressing yourself the way you want to. It looks like I have lost the freedom to experience myself." Being alone is one thing & feeling alone even when you are surrounded by people is another thing. And here I am referring to that latter feeling. It sucks and is painful! More so, research says that loneliness has been associated with problems like attention, stress, cognitive function & in worst scenarios also lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
WHAT PROPELLED YOU TO BE IN THIS SPACE IN THE FIRST PLACE?
When you let the external world decide how your life would turn out to be & allow it to define success for you, this is what happens gradually. You drift away from the very thing that you are craving for: that is deep connection. You can't have enough of what you don't need. Driven people are focused on getting things done, they are go-getters who achieve things quickly & are always on the look out for the next thing to tackle. They don't settle for low-hanging fruits but strive for the next big thing. They have an innate desire to stand out from the rest. Slowly this becomes a habit and a drive that becomes hard to resist. You start seeing everything from a lens of success & big picture pre-defined by the world & your influencers. And as you grow, you start playing the role of a self-critic to yourself. You lose sight of what truly matters for you. Yes, success is what is important for you but when success at all cost becomes the defining mantra for you, you slowly start losing that connection with yourself & others that truly matter to you. You outgrow your friends, communities, people in your life as you grow. You feel disconnected to most of the groups that you were a part of because of the journey that you have had. You cannot leave, nor you can cling on to. You are somewhere midway oscillating between the two extremes and trying to figure out how to combat this. Leaving is painful & hanging in there is unfulfilling! And thus you slowly loose the connect and feel lonely despite of being a part of so many groups, communities and the like. There can be numerous reasons for you to have arrived in this space. Some might be due to voluntary choices that you had to choose from what you had; some might just be an unconscious pattern of life that you follow through. But the fact is, this space isn't serving you because it is taking up lot of your time & energy. Loneliness is depleting & so something needs to be done to combat that.
COMMON MEDIUMS ADOPTED TO COMBAT LONELINESS
Numbing oneself from feeling this loneliness with other distractions such as forming new unfulfilling & unavailable connections, going the virtual way, being busy in the social media, partying, travelling etc. All these are nothing but tactics to run away from loneliness to eventually land up being more lonelier. Inability to figure this out leads to stress and anxiety. This is a vicious cycle, a never ending one & it is up to you to decide to cut it once & for all.
When you are not comfortable with who you are, with your own self; when you have gone to that spectrum of your being that becomes so unfamiliar to you that you start doubting yourself & your very essence is where the first disconnect starts. When you are connected deeply to who you are, you are connected to the source of every origin. And from that space, no amount of loneliness shall be experienced. But when we go afar in the journey and get lost amidst the crowd is when we feel lost & lonely. We fail to see connections within & outside of us.
SUGGESTED GROWTH STRATEGY FOR HIGHLY DRIVEN & SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE TO FORM DEEP & FULFILLING INNER CONNECTIONS WITH SELF & OTHERS
Wishing you a life that is fulfilling, abundant & having meaningful connections for you to be able to experience the authenticity & greatness within.
Love & respect,
Life & Organizational Development Coach