Seattle Community

Kasia Rachfall
Fresh Perspective Coach
Langley, British Columbia Canada
Greatly helpful
out of 10
2 votes

Don't Allow the Island Mentality to Sabotage You

John Donne once wrote "No man is an island, entire of itself. Everyone is a piece of the continent." What does that mean? Here's what I learned from this powerful quote.
Written Jun 14, 2010, read 1377 times since then.


There’s a quote by John Donne “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.”  What does that mean anyway? It never made sense to me. Of course, I’m not an island! I live on a planet full of people! I have to interact at work, at the grocery store, with my families.  Unless someone chooses to be a hermit and live on top of a mountain, we all live together to some extent. 

It wasn’t until recently, when I began working as an entrepreneur full time, and finding my life balance flying out the window, that the meaning of that quote began to shine through.

I was wearing so many hats and spreading myself so thin, that I barely had time to breathe, let a lone eat, sleep, work out or take good care of myself. 

It wasn’t until I was near breaking point that I realized that I was acting like an island.

I was doing everything myself because I could do it better.  I didn’t want to ask for help because the would do it wrong or judge me because I couldn’t handle everything that I had bitten off.  I wanted to prove to myself that I knew what I was doing and that I would succeed.  The more I worked, the more I got overwhelmed, and the less I was succeeding.

This had to stop! There had to be a better way!

I was fortunate to attend a seminar with Fabienne Fredrickson who is a business and mindset coach.  And she said something so poignant that I immediately had a huge shift.  She said “Sinatra didn’t move his own pianos.”  Of course not! He had a support team to do it for him so that he could focus on his talents.

The reason for my lack of balance in my life became so clear to me: I was playing Superwoman, Supermom, Super entrepreneur! In a nutshell: I was forcing myself to be an island.

What areas of your life are you struggling with because you’re trying to do everything yourself?  Are you letting your ICF (Inner Control Freak) take over and get the better of you?

Now you may be thinking, Sinatra had tons of money so he could afford to have others move his pianos.  Yes, he did.  You don’t need to have tons of money, however, to ask for help with many things that you do.  Really, step back and take an honest look at your life. There has to be some chores or responsibilities that you can ask for help with, delegate, or hire someone else to do. 

Yes, it does require effort and money to help yourself bring balance into your life.  Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t do some of the things you do now.  Would you be willing to trade a few dollars for someone to mow your lawn so you could take your children on a bike ride or read to them?  How would you feel knowing you had spent quality time with them instead of your lawnmower?

How much more stressed out will you get before you decide to get off your desert island?

Learn more about the author, Kasia Rachfall.

Comment on this article

No one has posted a comment yet. Be the first!