Why the Path to Success Can Be Lonely

Walk Alone

Working towards your own aspirations in life can be very lonely. Despite having my family and friends around me, I sometimes can’t help but feel like I’m living life all by myself, because I’m working towards my own aspirations that others don’t understand or connect with.

At first I couldn’t understand why, because even when I was in a committed relationship, at times, I’d still feel very much on my own – because my partners level of ambition differed from mine. It would often lead me to question the entire purpose of pursuing my dreams and I’d start to doubt the path that I was on, because surely success isn’t meant to feel like this.

When you first begin to embark on your own journey in life, you shed the cocoon of familiarity and explore life with your true identity. As you begin to navigate your own life in your own direction, you place yourself in a vulnerable position. You feel this vulnerability very quickly, and you notice how far you drift from the safety and comforts of everything you were once used to.

For example, you knew exactly where to turn for guidance and support – but on your own path, you’re relying on your own instinct and judgment to guide you. As you venture on and the more you succeed, you begin feeling your isolation. You’ve had to learn everything all over again and you become more and more self-reliant and self-content. And because you pursued your passion, nobody is able to hold your hand and walk you through it.

As you achieve one goal after another, you recognise a formula that works for you and often enough, you’re the only one that recognises this and understands it. So tenacity and determination set in which overwhelm your emotions. Then when you have a moment to spare, after a long day of pursuing your dream, your emotions have a chance to surface and you may begin to feel homesick. You’ll feel like giving up because nobody else gets it.

These feelings of loneliness can cause you to turn back to a familiar way of life, albeit unfulfilling. When success makes you feel alone, you must first remind yourself of why you embarked on your journey. Trigger motivation and a positive mindset by remembering why you ventured onto this path and why you found/seek fulfillment within it.

Secondly, you should evaluate your life and determine how far you want to continue carrying this feeling of loneliness. Personally, I’m finding more fulfillment in pursuing my passions than being in a relationship. I don’t feel very alone because at this moment my success is still new and growing; I haven’t achieved a level of success I’m satisfied with.

I’ve discovered that it’s all about balance, you must first establish a minimum level of success you’re comfortable living with, and make it a priority to reach this minimum requirement.  And when you’ve met this success, balance your identity by investing in other areas of your life that you have perhaps neglected.

Nurture these neglected areas of your life until they too are bought up to the same minimum-level of fulfillment. Once you have achieved this, continue to raise your minimum. Keep adding to your success, but also continue to build upon your relationships too. I reiterate, it’s about maintaining balance.

I promise you, the moment you give up on yourself during this momentary lapse in character, the novelty of familiarity will soon wear off, and rather than feeling alone, you’ll feel empty. The lonely side of success is definitely something you should try to prepare for because it can knock you off your path. It can cause you to feel like a failure, despite whatever success you’ve built.

Remember to take time out to reflect and realize that although you may feel alone now, you’re not far from being within the company of your dreams. However, success is very much like an addictive drug, when you get a small taste you’re hooked. Therefore it is important to understand exactly what level of success you’d be satisfied with, because when you get there, you must nurture the other areas of your life.

I have a clear level of success in mind and when I achieve it, I know it’ll be time to unite other aspects of my identity; specifically the part that does yearn for companionship. Should I fail to do so, my success would’ve been achieved in vain as life wouldn’t feel successful in its entirety.

It is possible to have everything you’ve ever wanted in life, but to do so you must set definitive levels of fulfillment. This does not mean that your success is capped or restricted in any way, it simply encourages you to make the most out of every opportunity in life, so that feelings of loneliness become far and fewer.

Are you ready to overcome your restrictions and unleash your potential?


Terry Sidhu, Life Coach


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Dream Life design, an online life planning course designed to help you increase self-awareness and harness your potential.


27 thoughts on “Why the Path to Success Can Be Lonely

  1. Gede Prama says:

    Thank you,through selfless sharing of ideas, thoughts and experiences that will make our world a better place to live. Thank you and hope that you will enjoy what I posted and post. Thanks again!

  2. Michael says:

    I can’t believe on this lonely night, this new found road to success, I sit here and type in, lonely road to success, and I find a post that makes me feel motivated and comfortable again. Knowing the lonely road is travled by many.

    Thank you.

    • Hello Michael, you’ve made my day with this comment, thank you for sharing. I wrote this post awhile back, when I was still relatively new to writing. Even though it’s not that well written, it serves as a bookmark in my success. The closer I am to fulfilling my dream the less lonely it feels; everyday I get to live life as myself, in my own way, I make worthwhile connections as I grow.

      Also, this post is my most popular post to date, which goes to show how we’re not as isolated as we perceive. Although the path is individual we’re all emotionally aligned. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Duran says:

    Terry this is an excellent, heart-warming article. I feel better about my loneliness after reading several articles that gave specific attention to this specific topic. I feel refueled to continue this painful but beautiful journey. I love the parts where you talk about nourishing your love life and finding yourself in the company of your dreams eventually. It has been very motivating for me so thank you. Also, the part about feeling more fulfilled as you strive towards success versus feeling alone really resonated with me!

    • Hello Duran, Thank you so much for your heartfelt words. I’m incredibly happy for you and that you feel refueled. Also kudos to you for seeking the inspiration and support when you needed answers. It’s so easy to get wrapped up by the uncertainties of life that we run the risk of losing touch with our own identities. Glad to see you’re keeping your potential alive and thank you for commenting. All the best,

  4. Duílio Nobre says:

    Excellent article. It has reached me, from Brazil. That’s all me and my mind need to keep pursuing my aspirations at this bethinking night.

  5. This is what I currently feel in my 2nd year of my own business, it’s perfectly described. And to be honest, I couldn’t sleep tonight because I feel like a failure despite my huge successes in the past year.

    I wondered what was wrong with me today, I just experienced something which I didn’t understand yet, but now I do.

    Thanks a lot, it helped me a great deal.

    • Thanks Philip, I’m glad you connect to it. Perhaps you’d like to guest post? Would you like to draft an item which explores this topic further? Shoot me a message via the contact form and let’s connect.

  6. This post that you wrote but so many points right on the head. I’ve reached my goal and have been here for a while now. But all of the people in familiar with haven’t and it’s been lonely at times. I’ve reached many of the same conclusions that you shared and it was great seeing such confirmation. I wish you well in your future.

    • Though we’re on individual paths, we’re sort of in it together. I’m glad this resonated with you, and it sounds like you’re ready to expand your network, congratulations, William. Thank you for commenting.

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