I learned early in life to be self-sufficient, not to need, “Do it yourself: don’t ask for help”. While this may seem empowering, even wise, at first glance, one downside is: I shrunk my world. If I couldn’t do it, it didn’t get done.
Another, though, is that by not asking for help, I didn’t learn the art of co-creating, of “doing with”. This is SO essential for healthy teamwork and family dynamics.
Moreover, by believing I was “doing it all myself” I was denying the real truth: so much of what I was doing depended on others’ work:
- How did paper and pens come about?
- What if I hadn’t learned from the teacher who taught me penmanship and how to read in grade school?
- Where did these vegetables come from?
- If cavemen had not invented the wheel, where would humankind be?
Remaining ignorant of our inter-dependency, the co-creative nature of life, has a great impact. If I believe I am doing it myself, I cannot acknowledge you for your input. Acknowledgment enhances well-being of individuals and relationships. If I am ignorant of the inter-dependency of my life with all of nature, I may abuse it (consciously or unconsciously) and cause harm to other forms of life. A belief in self-sufficiency prevents the merging of skills and ideas, the result of which is “1 + 1 = 3” or, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts it’s made of”.
Where might you shift from self-sufficiency to inter-dependency?
Where is your belief in self-sufficiency limiting you?
How will you co-create today?