When was the last time you asked for help? Recently, or has it been months (or years)?
Here’s a truth about me: I ask for help all the time. And I don’t feel any amount of shame for it!
Sadly, our society has taught us to be lone wolves and carry the weight of our lives, careers, and families by ourselves (and quietly!). Asking for help is looked down upon and shamed, and many people feel like they have to do everything on their own—as if when they don’t, they are somehow weak or “less than others.”
Pardon my language, but that’s bullshit!
Collaborating with others and receiving support brings so much incredible richness to one’s life. It up-levels what I do in so many ways, and it will do the same for you.
If even thinking about asking for help makes you feel uncomfortable in any way, take a deep, cleansing breath and keep reading. As we dive into collaboration and support today, I invite you to sit with the discomfort so you can learn more about yourself and what your inner guidance may be trying to tell you.
How Collaboration Serves My Clients
If you own a business or provide services to people, you know there never seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. Even if you don’t run a business, managing work with personal responsibilities, as well as spending time with your family, can quickly make you feel overwhelmed and sap your energy. This stress can then manifest itself as physical pain and conditions, or you may find yourself battling to regulate your moods and experience positive emotions.
Who wants that??
Before I opened myself up to receiving support for my business, I was over-stressed and feeling stuck about making progress. I kept spinning my wheels, wanting to grow my services and help more people, but most of my energy was going toward business-related tasks that I struggled with.
Honestly, I struggle with writing. I’m a Life & Intimacy Coach because I excel at working directly with people and helping them improve their lives. Writing is in a different part of the brain and my mind just prefers face-to-face interactions.
But I knew that creating blogs and having a newsletter would be a way for me to serve others better and offer them tools they can use, even if we never get the chance to meet in person.
I thought to myself, “I can either spend hours trying to collect my thoughts into words or I can just ask for help.”
I chose to ask for help.
Now, whenever I have a major writing block, I get help from someone who interviews me about what I’d like to share. Then she uses my words to create cohesive blog posts, so I can share my thoughts with you monthly.
It took so much pressure off my shoulders, and I regained the energy I had been losing from sitting at my computer for hours trying to force words to flow. I can now put that energy into other things that are more enjoyable for me, and that flow more easily. This gives me more time to focus on other ways I can best serve my clients.
I also discovered something else: even though I’m paying my interviewer to help me with writing, I’m actually saving money in the end. Those hours I had previously spent trying to wrestle words from my brain are now spent connecting with more clients. I now have availability to book a few more clients each month, so admitting that I needed help was beneficial for everyone.
There’s only one of me, so I can’t do it all!
How Collaboration Improved My Breath Is Prayer Training
If you’ve read my other blogs, you know that moving into a teaching role and offering breathwork training was something that took years for me to do. I had a lot of emotional resistance, denying the signs that being a teacher was part of my journey, and I struggled to pull together a training manual that made sense. I started offering training, but never fully felt in the flow with it.
Then, through collaboration, it all started coming together.
First, I recorded several of my training sessions and someone helped me transcribe them. I finally had text I could use for a manual, but it was such a mess! It was 30,000 words of pure chaos.
So, I reached out for help again. I hired someone to take the transcripts and begin to organize and break them all down. She removed repetitive information and gave it structure. I began feeling less overwhelmed by it, but it still felt like it wasn’t quite there.
Finally, a woman who was a copywriter went through my Breath Is Prayer training. Having experienced what I do firsthand, she was able to look at the manual and see that there was a more authentic way of organizing it. She did the next revamp, and I can tell you, I felt such energy surging through me when I saw it!
Everything finally felt right. It took three people to piece it all together (and I continually revise and customize when I feel something needs adjusting), but the manual finally felt like my own. I knew it was a valuable resource to give to my students, and I felt so proud to offer it.
I only reached this point of flow and forward movement because I took the first step and reached out for help, finding others with complementary skills to collaborate with.
Now, such deep gratitude for all of the people in my life who support me, not only in business but also in other aspects of my life. I’m grateful to my trainer, to the woman who helps me clean my house…everyone. Instead of telling myself, “I can’t afford this,” I remind myself, “I can’t afford not to.”
Letting Go of the Need to Control
Before we talk about how you can learn to accept support, I want to quickly mention something that holds many of us back: the need for control.
I’m not saying you should seek help from just anyone. If your gut is telling you that an interior designer, for example, isn’t right for your home, don’t ignore it and let them create chaos in your house! Obviously, you have control over who you choose to collaborate with.
What I mean is, it can be hard to ask for help when what you need help with is deeply personal. My business and what I do are very important to me. It took me a long time to bring in people to help because I felt like I had to control everything.
I recently hired a Virtual Assistant and, even though I had received help for my business in the past, it was hard to give her control over certain tasks. Even if the tasks were draining (like social media and marketing), it took me time to relinquish that control. It has been a process of teaching myself how to delegate and trust that the person I chose was chosen for a reason—she has complementary skills to mine.
So, that’s my advice: Find someone with skills that complement yours and trust your gut. After you do that, you can feel confident that the collaboration will be positive and you don’t need to micro-manage everything.
Learning to Receive Support
Whether in business or in your personal life, support is so important, but it can be a struggle! We’re simply not taught how to receive help as children, so most of us grow up thinking poorly about ourselves if we ever even consider needing help.
I’m here to tell you that receiving support is your birthright. You absolutely deserve help from others, and letting someone help you is actually helping them.
Think about it: how can someone be generous or fulfill their passions if no one is willing to receive their gifts or services? If no one came to me for coaching, I wouldn’t have the joy of serving others in the way that I do.
We should be taught that receiving support is actually essential for a vibrant, inspired life.
If you’ve been reading all of this and feeling uncomfortable with the idea of seeking help, here are some ways to start opening yourself up so that you can welcome what you need into your life:
1. Reflect on your family.
When I work with clients who are struggling to receive from others, one of the first things we look at is Family Constellations. We objectively look at their relatives and any current family dynamics. Often, we discover a long line of men and women throughout their lineage who had little or no support. All of these relatives and ancestors shut down to receiving, passing that pattern on to my client. Once this pattern is revealed, my clients often feel a heavy weight lift from their chest as they gain clarity about their own discomfort with support.
2. Explore childhood wounding.
Another piece of why you may be resisting support is negative experiences from childhood. You may have developed protective mechanisms due to how you were treated. For example, if you were someone who was spanked, you probably ingrained a very conflicting view of love. If your parents loved you, why did they spank you and cause physical pain? A child can easily internalize the message that love is not safe. If love does not feel safe, why would someone want to receive it? Thus, you push away people who are lovingly trying to support you as an adult.
3. Practice the small step of saying “Yes.”
You can begin to rewire your reactions by simply saying “Yes” more than you say “No.” When someone offers to carry something for you, say, “Yes, thank you.” When someone gives you a compliment, say, “Thank you; that’s wonderful to hear!” When you feel the need to deflect or turn down an offer of assistance, take a breath, center yourself, and say YES! If done consistently, you will slowly start to shift into a receptive mindset.
Since this entire blog has been about collaboration and seeking help, I have to mention coaching! The more you feel yourself resisting support, telling yourself, “Oh, I don’t need help. I can figure everything out on my own,” the more you should seek a coach. Whether you choose to work with me or someone else, I encourage you to reach out and find someone who will listen, guide you, and help you gain confidence in receiving.
If you don’t learn to receive, how can life surprise you with amazing experiences?
If you’re feeling drawn to chatting with me, I’m always here. Book a free 15-minute Discovery Session and let’s talk about where you are on your journey.
Collaborator for this blog: Cassandra V.—copywriter, author, content creator. Find her on LinkedIn.