Similarly, the Western emphasis on individuality can be both an asset and a hindrance to practice. On one hand, we want to grow as a person, we want to tap into and develop our potential to become a Buddha. We are willing to commit ourselves to a spiritual path that is not widely known or appreciated by our friends, family and colleagues. On the other hand, our individuality can make it difficult for us to form spiritual communities in which we need to adapt to the needs and wishes of others. We easily fall into comparing ourselves with other practitioners or competing with them. We tend to think of what we can get out of spiritual practice, or what a spiritual teacher or community can do for us, whereas practice is much more about giving than getting, more about cherishing others than ourselves. His Holiness the Dalai Lama talks about two senses of self: one is unhealthy--the sense of a solid self to which we grasp and become pre-occupied. The other is necessary along the path--the valid sense of self-confidence that is based on recognizing our potential to be enlightened. We need rethink the meaning of being an individual, freeing ourselves from the unhealthy sense of self and developing valid self-confidence that enables us to genuinely care for others.