I wanted to think that I could do it all by myself. I have signed up for many tasks that I figured I could handle without anyone’s support. Weight Watchers, marriage to someone who was self destructive, and conquering my anxiety. And in each situation, I was destined to fail. It’s not that I didn’t really want to lose weight, have a marriage that succeeded, or be less anxious, it was just that not everything is meant to be done alone.
There’s an American notion that it’s noble to go it alone. To carry the load and to succeed. And women are equally likely to take on more than their share of burden if not to just protect the ones they love. Of course the innate problem is that then we suffer needlessly alone while we raise children and husbands who are unappreciative and lazy. Ooooppps.
The only way we’re guaranteed success in life is if we have company, community, and accountability against our fears. Because our fears lurk waiting for every opportunity to mess up our best of intentions and our noblest of plans. The first time I did Weight Watchers, I went and weighed in at the local firehouse and I lost the ten pounds. The second time, I did it “on my own”. I managed to gain weight. Picking a marriage partner who really has no interest in working as a team is definitely a set-up for failure and loneliness. I have a partner in my second marriage, raising two children together proves it takes teamwork.
Anxiety is a number one reason why we keep ourselves alone. Afraid we’ll mess up and get ourselves outcast, we sentence ourselves to loneliness in full view by never sharing how we feel with others. But when we share our goals with others, we are super aware that we are accountable to our words. Everyone else would forgive us if we didn’t accomplish what we set out for. But we wouldn’t. And there’s just something empowering about stating our dreams out loud, hopefully to the right person!
So if this has you thinking that maybe you have been going it lone alone a little too much, entrust something to someone. A secret desire, a secret fear, or goal you are trying to achieve. Give someone the chance to be your accountability buddy and see where it takes both of you.
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I need an accountability buddy badly. I just got a big ugly “U” for unsatisfactory progress on my dissertation this semester, and I feel like a complete loser.
Oh Ughhh Tamara! So much stuff there. Foremost, I highly recommend a counselor aka third party neutral to talk about this with. Fear isn’t something we can judge. It makes no sense and it’s sole purpose is to keep us “safe”. Except this rational can be completely at odds with what we think our life should look like. Please go get yourself a talking doctor and start hard on the path of self-compassion. Much love to you!