One of the many lessons I have learnt on my journey of personal and professional development is: being a lone wolf doesn’t lead to success.  For me, lone wolfing meant that I needed to have all the answers.  I needed to be the one taking all the actions.  I needed to control every aspect of a project or idea.  Why?  Because if I didn’t, it meant that I wasn’t 100% owner of the idea/project/business; and, on a deeper psychological level, it meant that I didn’t have what it takes to make it in this world, and I wasn’t 100% responsible for my success.   How many of you can relate to that?  

In this society of “survival of the fittest”, “dog eat dog”, and “every man or woman for themselves”, it’s not surprising that the lone wolf mindset is alive and well.  In my experience, what it provided was, in fact, the opposite of success!  It led me to have a fear of the unknown, an inability to ask for help, a lot of self-doubt, and anxiety.  Ultimately I became a prisoner of  “How?”  I would become so fixated on figuring out how to bring an idea to life that it paralyzed me, I wouldn’t take any action, and my idea would ultimately die.   I played it safe and I played it small.   

So what changed?  What enabled me to break free from my self-imposed prison cell?  It was a process that started with me having an idea that came from a commitment that was larger than myself: to have every child fall in love with his/herself, and know themselves to be powerful leaders and creators.    Because this commitment was bigger than me and my concerns, it compelled me to start sharing it with people around me- people I trusted.  The more I shared authentically, the more positive feedback I received, and the more people expressed a desire to be a part of what I was creating.   At the same time, I also started to read about successful people and their journeys to success.  What I came to realize was that every successful person had help along the way.  They sought out mentors and consultants, and built teams of people around their ideas/invention/businesses.  Each team member brought their expertise filling in the “hows” that the leader didn’t know.  It all seems like common sense to me now, but at the time it truly was a mind-blowing concept!  I’ve come to accept that it is impossible for any one person to have expertise in every facet of life, of business, or of knowledge.  What a self-defeating and disempowering mindset it was to hold myself up to those unrealistic expectations and standards!   

I’ve now built a team of experts around me, who share my commitment and love my idea.  In doing so, my idea has grown into something larger and more spectacular than I ever dreamed it to be on my own.  I trust my team members and have learned to relinquish the control that I used to need.  How?  I saw the results that happened when I let my team members do what they know how to do.  I saw the accomplishments that happened with velocity, when I would let go and let them do what they do best.   It didn’t take long for that trust to build!  

I am now committed to living a bigger life in which I am continuously expanding.  As a result, I still find myself in situations where I do not know the how.   In those moments, when I feel myself sliding back into my self-imposed prison cell, I breathe and look at my team, and am reminded that I don’t need to know how.  I just need to find someone who does and bring them onto my team!  What I discovered from breaking free of my lone wolf mentality is that there is a lot less struggle now.  I am having way more fun creating and seeing my ideas flourish with velocity, leaving me with more freedom and peace of mind.   What are you waiting for?  Get a taste of the freedom that comes from breaking free from your prison of “how”.

Written by Alanna Carr