Chasing Inspiration

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Little Help From My Friends

In the last two weeks my life has been a little out of control. Work has been good, but very time and energy consuming. I had more commitments on my dance card than I had dances. My fibro was acting up big time, but instead of reaching out and admitting I couldn't do it all at this point in time, I raised the flag of personal responsibility and like a good little martyr, I pushed on. Until I collapsed. Almost literally.

I'm the first to admit that I'm not good on leaning on others. I was raised with the values of personal responsibility and good hard work get the job done. And this has served me well. However, it has also made it difficult for me to ask for help, even when I know I need it. Given the fact I know when certain things occur, I need to let go and delegate or just say no, why is that I continue to horde my tasks like precious jewels?

For me, I think it's because raising the white flag to signal for help has been associated personally with failure. I should be able to do it all. I'm an intelligent and talented human being. I'm capable. There is no reason why I shouldn't be able to follow through and get through everything on my list. Failure is a nasty word in our culture. And, as a society, we're moving further and further away from failure being a positive experience. More on that in a future post.

But since I was afraid to look like a failure or to be seen as weak, I didn't ask for help. Fortunately, I have good friends and a great husband who can tell when I'm getting overwhelmed. And these people step up and step in. Oh, I may not be all that gracious about their offers of help, but I do appreciate their willingness to support me with their talents and strengths.

In the end, through this team effort, I made it through the week and am looking at life through clearer eyes and with renewed energy. And I made a commitment to myself to be kinder to me. That means asking for help before I reach that breaking point. I want to break the old habits that are no longer serving me and let go of false beliefs that asking for help somehow equals failure. And that failure is bad.

Are you fortunate enough to have a good support system of people who will step in even when think you can do it all? Or are you more likely to muscle through? What do we miss out on in life because we aren't willing to lean a little? I'm curious about your impressions and can't wait to read your responses.

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