Today, most people are of the opinion that if you surround yourself with people who “vibe” with you, you will eventually succeed; because your inner circle will inevitably encourage you to become the best version of yourself. But is this always the case? Does your inner circle really wish you to succeed? Will they be happy watching you climb up the ladder even if they’re a level lower?
It is for this reason in particular that I tend to agree and disagree with this idea of a reinforcing circle – the belief that although your vibe attracts you tribe, your tribe will help you grow.
Why do I disagree?
In some sense, a reinforcing circle no doubt helps in boosting confidence whilst also lending you a listening ear in times of distress. And while that does help at the time, at the end of the day, there is only one person who can truly help you scale new heights. And that is, the person in the mirror (a clichéd truism). This is particularly why I believe that loneliness helps individuals strive to become better and stronger versions of themselves.
How does loneliness help?
The French Existentialist Jean Paul Sartre believed that “if you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company”. Characterizing this statement, it is safe to assume that you need to become a person you are comfortable with – a person you yourself would want to associate with. And due to the onslaught of this drab herd mentality, we often tend to lose our essence, forcing various definitions upon ourselves – the perfect body, the perfect skin, the perfect height. This need to continuously conform, to be perfect in the eyes of others, is what, I believe, holds us back from truly realizing our potential. This is when a group can be extremely harmful to one’s personal growth.
This requirement to fit in is terribly detrimental to one’s growth. Because why would you want to fit when you can stand out? Why would you want to be the same when you can be different? Why would you want to be someone else when you can be you? Because someone somewhere has made you feel like you aren’t good enough. But that’s not true. You are good enough if you choose to be. You just have to make the choice.
The only way the world can progress is if we come up with refreshing ideas. What’s the use of different voices with the same opinions?
Thus, according to Sartre, the only time a person can be seen as good company is if, they serve as good company to themselves, if they let themselves grow out of what “seems” to be the “correct” way of doing things.
In fact, Gabriele Muccino’s bio-pic “The Pursuit of Happyness” emphasizes just this. When you’re alone, circumstances provoke you to build a life that you want to live – that you have dreamed of living. And this pursuit undoubtedly compels one to overcome every obstacle in your path, keeping in mind a single goal: success.
Therefore, it is with this zest and zeal for achieving the greatness that individuals eventually reach a pinnacle in their lives – a zenith and yet, don’t stop. Because once you reach a climactic point in life, you don’t wait for the denouement. Rather, you stimulate yourself to achieve supplemental prodigious feats.
So you feel like a loner? Don’t worry, use this time to work on yourself and before you know it, you’ll be your own source of motivation – you’re own confidence boost!