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We All Need Help

You need help.

I need help.

We all need help.

Those sentences will either make you exhale for they make you realise that enough is enough and you need to ask, or they will cause you discombobulation: “I don’t need help. I’m strong. I’ve got this. I just need to keep living like this for now. Next week, next year, it will be fine.”

No one will see you me buckle.

The truth is going to go one of two ways.

You are going to ask for the help you need in whatever area of life you are struggling in, or you will buckle. Or your productivity, or your health, or your family will buckle. Something has to give.

I have a close family member who suffered burn out last year and is just picking up the pieces a year later. Everything needed to buckle because the pace was not sustainable.

As a coach, I work with incredible women some of whom have a large amount of responsibility in their working lives; they hold executive leadership positions, or they are entrepreneurs running successful companies, or they are solopreneurs who are of service to others in meaningful ways. A few are philanthropists. A few of my clients are mums at home who want to parent as best they can and create a family legacy they are proud of.

All of these women struggle to ask for help. All of them.

They are all very focused on making sure they are doing their best for their colleagues, their teams, their customers, their children, their partners.

They are not so good at doing their best for themselves.

Even if we know that unless we look after ourselves and our needs, we are on borrowed time, we can still find it hard to hand over the reins.

This makes sense. These women have not got to where they are by getting everyone else to do the work for them; they have had to work hard to get to where they are, and those who work in male-dominated industries even more so. But for them to remain impactful and successful at what they do, they need to let go — just a little.

Although we had been working on her relationship to asking, one of my clients only took action when the crisis hit. It hit her and her family, and when she came to her coaching session, the crisis was just beginning to unveil itself … and she was angry.

She was not angry with the crisis; she was angry because she had known deep down that the crisis was coming. She was angry because had she kept saying “It’ll be fine. I just need to hang in there a little longer.”

When things were no longer fine, when the emotional, physical and psychological cracks started to show, she still pushed on.

We started to explore what her immediate needs were. The reality was she needed her mum. She needed to be taken care of for a little while. We explored why she was not asking her mum, with whom she had, in her words, a ‘good enough’ relationship. She said her mum always seemed busy.

“Too busy to help her ‘good enough’ daughter?”

She laughed.

“I don’t want her to think I haven’t got it handled.”

“You don’t have it handled.”

There was a pause.

“I have to stop pretending.”

“You have got this far without help; imagine how far you could go if you had some?”

This is what we forget in the day-to-day: we were never meant to do it all alone. Since the beginning of human life on earth, we have lived together, we have helped each other, and we have supported each other.

Do not wait for the crisis.

If you need help, ask for it.

Wishing you a weekend of courageous asking AND receiving all that is offered to you with thanks. xxx

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