There is no denying that our world continues to grow in complexity, intensity, and uncertainty.
There are major international and domestic threats to our way of life that we often hear about in the news or experience directly in our communities. The transparency of life that comes with the digital age also poses a threat to some very private situations or some regrettable activities that would have caused much less collateral damage in times past. The complexity of life these days seems to pose a significant threat to the peace and stability we all yearn for in our lives.
However, there is one threat has been with us through the ages that continues to challenge us more than any other in the quest to reach our full potential. The threat of isolation for an individual or a group presents a major threat to reaching our full potential.
Healthcare professionals, in both academic research and practical experience, would tell us that personal isolation is the greatest predictor of health outcomes. Those that are struggling with physical or mental ailments, do worse when facing a situation alone as opposed to those who have a support network to help get through the struggle.
As we continue to build and strengthen our character, we must be vigilant in addressing the continual threat of isolation that can create major risks for us achieving our hopes and dreams.
There is a tendency that when we face struggles, we turn inward as oppose to turning outward to others to address our situation.
- In our schools, students who struggle academically or socially tend to keep their challenges to themselves.
- In our homes, when relationships are strained, we have a tendency to go to our separate corners or simply attempt to put up a wall to separate us from our problems.
- In our workplace, there is a sense that we need to figure out the problem ourselves as opposed to reaching out to draw on the experience and knowledge of others.
The impact of isolating ourselves in the midst of struggles can have a significant negative impact in many areas of life.
Below are a few thoughts on what we can do to address the major threat that isolation poses in reaching our full potential and helping others to do the same.
- Gain a greater appreciation for the reality that we all have a tendency to turn inward when facing difficulties and the poor outcome that can be the result of that decision to turn inward.
- Be continually on the lookout for our own risk of turning inward and also for those closest to us who seem to move into more isolation over time.
- Model the way for those around us by reaching out to others when we are facing difficulties in a genuine and authentic way to encourage others to do the same.
- Take the time to highlight the positive outcomes that were the result of coming together as a family, a workgroup, or a class to reinforce an effective choice that avoided the threat of isolation.
As we remain vigilant in facing the major threat of isolation, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to reach our full potential and help others do the same.