We are not wired to be alone.

It doesn’t matter if you read this blogpost and are surrounded by the most amazing family and friends you can imagine. Or if you read this post and you sit amongst a group of people you cannot really connect with. Or if you’re reading this on a Saturday night wondering why you’re not invited to the party.

Loneliness comes in all shapes and sizes. I’ve experienced severe loneliness before. And its nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I’ve talked about this publicly already, if you want to read my first blogpost on loneliness and shame (click here).

However, this time I want to touch upon something that really struck me. That links loneliness to success.

“You cannot achieve happiness or success in a vacuum. It all hinges on bonds you build with people around you” – Dave Kerpen

I’ve never directly related my social environment to my success. I used to believe that I can do whatever I set my mind to. And don’t get me wrong, I still believe I can achieve whatever I pursue long and hard enough. But I’ve come to realize and experience that no one is self- made. No one can achieve any success without real human connection and support.

Because life is about two things. Connection to ourselves and connection to others. And sometimes we connect to ourselves through others. And in order to achieve success, and of course happiness, we need to connect to every part of ourselves. Parts that we cannot reach without the help of others.

I’ll make this a little more practical by sharing my own story. As I went through a pretty lonely chapter in my life, the further it proceeded, the less I could view myself from an outside perspective. I was in my head all day, all week. And because of that I couldn’t realistically connect with myself anymore. Others have to pull you out of your head and into life sometimes.

Without sharing struggles, joy, passion, success and grief with others – we become disconnected. From ourselves, from the world. We become isolated and unrelatable.

“We are not wired to be alone. Life is about connection. Connection to ourselves and others. Sometimes we connect to ourselves through others.” – The Angry Therapist aka John Kim

And we need real human connection. Social media is not a replacement for that and it never will be. We need to shake hands and pat on shoulders. We need to look into each other’s eyes and feel each other’s emotions. We need to see gestures and body language. We need to smell and feel each other. Social media, video calls or text messages can be a catalyst for connection. But I believe you cannot connect through it. (read some of Brené Brown’s work for more on this).

We are not meant to do life alone.

To anyone who is struggling with making real human connection these days. I know it can be hard, with everyone sitting behind their smartphones trying to virtually connect with other people who seem to do more cool stuff and be more awesome than you.

Its not easy to have meaningful conversation, to tell your story or to get someone else to share theirs. I don’t care how many friends you have, how introverted, shy, socially awkward, excluded or lonely you feel like you are. I don’t care how you label yourself. You need real, deep human connection face to face for you to be happy and successful.

I know from experience that you cannot create success or happiness in a vacuum. And anyone who stood alone before, knows this too.

And you can find that real connection. You can find your tribe. And it’s often closer than we think. You are not lonely because you are socially weird or “no one likes you”. The first step out of the vacuum, is to abandon that mindset. Then expose yourself a little bit. Show up as your full authentic selves. Be unapologetically you. And then allow that connection to happen. Let others pull you into life and out of your head.

“You cannot achieve happiness or success in a vacuum. It all hinges on bonds you build with people around you” – Dave Kerpen