I’ve been praised a lot in my life by very proud and boastful mother and grandmother. The specifics of what I did have never really stuck – I was just living life. But the one phrase that always stayed with me was….
she did it all on her own
For some reason my mind latched onto those words as the most important. It assigned a meaning to those words that I was only worthy of praise if I did things ON MY OWN. Even though that is not what was being said, that is what my mind made of it.
We are meaning making machines and we latch onto things we hear and need to assign a meaning to it. This then stays with us as a silly story we tell ourselves over and over again until it becomes our reality and even a life rule. This one became mine – I am only worthy of praise if I do things on my own.
That feeling of achieving only if it was done on my own, coupled with the people pleasing attitude of not wanting to be a burden, mixed with a sprinkle of societal brainwashing that it is weak to ask for help “This is my life, I wanted this and I just have to put up and shut up”, had me carrying all of my burdens ON MY OWN.
Do you know where that lead me? Broken down in Burnoutsville, lonely even though I was surrounded by people. How many of us end up there because we either try to do everything on our own or because we decide that we can’t actually have it all. We have to choose between being a mother and having a career, or following our passion and making money, or working and having a clean house.
After one too many times finding myself sobbing on the floor of the kitchen not knowing whether I would ever be able to stop I finally told my husband that I was not coping. His shocked response still rings in my head – he said “… but you handle it all so well, you just get in and get everything done on your own.”
Those words had become my curse ON HER OWN.
I never asked for help and so no one knew that I needed it, least of all the one most capable of providing it. [I am not going down that rabbit hole again – if you want to you can read more here.]
That was until I realised a truth – I never did anything on my own, not completely. My whole life I have been surrounded by amazingly loving and supportive people who always had my back. They may not have done the heavy lifting but they were there – always, and for a lot of things that is the best help you can get.
They’ve been my support crew, cheer squad, accountability partners, ear for ideas, shoulder for tears, a snack, warm smile, hug or a text just at the right moment, they have been a presence and that was more than enough. While I may not have specifically asked for help, help was there, surrounding me, every step of the way.
Knowing that I have never achieved anything alone does not for one second limit the magnitude of my achievements. It was still me showing up and putting in the work, picking myself back up when I failed and trying again with the new lessons I had learnt, I can still claim it all, I just didn’t do it alone.
This change of perspective has allowed me to change the story that I have held on to for so long – that to be worthy of praise it has to be done on my own – how about instead – I am never alone. I am always worthy of praise. That praise can be from me.
This made me stop and think about how many times I have helped other people and stood back and been happy for them to receive the praise. I love helping people, jump in when ever I get the opportunity and never stop to think about whether or not I will get praised for it – because I am not doing it for the praise. It just feels really good to help, so who am I to deny that feeling to someone else.
I am not burdening them by asking for help – I am giving them an opportunity to feel good. I am giving them an opportunity to become more than just one person working along. I am giving them the opportunity to collaborate, connect and celebrate. And I am giving myself that same opportunity.
I don’t HAVE to ask for help, I GET to. We all get to. You get to use the power of your voice to ask for help and collaborate, connect and celebrate with others.
Just like me, you are never alone – there are always people who have your back and are there to help you and would find joy in helping you, you just need to ask.
Use that voice of yours, it is a very powerful tool and with it you can discover that you CAN have it all. You can be a mum and run a successful business, keep a clean house, follow your passion, make money, serve others, have holidays, make meaningful connections, have your cake and eat it too – but you need to be willing to have others pitch in and lend a hand, you need to find your team. You get to ask for help.
It takes a village, not just to raise a child but also to live a life and run a business. We were never meant to walk this path on our own.
So today I am asking for your help – if this resonates with you then please share it. Then pop on over and read the other ways you can use the power of your voice to make a difference in your business.