Ever feel like you’re chasing after your schedule, barely juggling the things on your To Do list, and finding yourself irritable, short tempered, and plain old resentful about what’s on your plate?
Yeah… me too.
It’s said that there has been no time in history that people have reported higher levels of stress than right now. How many times do you call someone and ask “How are you?” to hear “Good, but busy” as the default response?
I used to think that this was simply a function of keeping up with life. But under the surface, in truth, I actually felt like a victim to the things on my list! I was too often annoyed and, quite frankly, exhausted.
When I look back at this time I can’t help but see a glaring misfire in my thinking and the actions that would have supported myself. So here’s the question:
Why is it so hard to ask for help?
Seriously, this is a big part of the problem.
Some examples of why we don’t ask for help are:
- It takes too much energy to explain what I need
- I can do it better and faster myself
- It’s too expensive to hire someone to help
- I don’t want to give up control
Now…. Let’s take a look at that last one. Heh heh heh.
For me, it’s been much more about control than anything. I have such high standards of perfection – which really means doing things my way and to my level of expectation – that in truth I don’t want to relinquish that!
But I finally hit the wall and realized that the COSTS of being so set in my ways, and not delegating, were killing me.
So, I started, actually, by delegating the housework and then the grocery shopping, laundry, general daily tidying, plus keeping the kids busy for a couple of hours after school. So I’m not necessarily talking about delegating “work” items yet.
These things freed me up, though, to spend more hours on what I truly needed to. I made sure I had more than enough time in my life with my kids (workday end at 5pm), but was overjoyed to be freed of the rest.
And the benefits were exponential. Not only did I have more time to focus on the things that were truly important in my life, but it created spaciousness for me to have some critical down time. (I don’t have to tell you what that did for my mood – and therefore my marriage and parenting).
And yes, it might take more time at first to train someone else how to help you with regards to the tasks you’ve been doing. But remember this is short lived – soon enough you’ll have more freedom from doing it.
My next area of delegation was with work, when I hired my first assistant. And similarly, her doing the administrative work for me freed me up to spend that same time doing what’s in my “zone of genius” – coaching. I was able to take a few more clients based on the other time I was saving. (And I don’t have to mention that my income for those hours was much higher than the administrative hourly rate that I was paying her).
Lastly, there’s another issue that tends to crop up when asking for help – your internal feelings about it. Some of us feel it’s weak to need help, or that if we ask it’s revealing some shortcoming in us.
But genuinely, nothing could be further than the truth. Asking for help shows the commitment to self-advocacy that only a confident person with solid self-esteem would display!
Plus, don’t forget about also asking for help from colleagues and friends when you need some mentorship and support regarding work and life issues. Because guess what – people truly love to help!
Imagine how you feel when someone trusts you enough, and respects you enough, to say I’m struggling with this or that and would be so appreciative if you could help me. It’s a compliment, actually, and it makes the person being asked feel really, really good. I promise.
So the gift in all of this is that you feel better and freer, therefore able to be your loving and authentic self much more of the time – and to experience more magic and creativity in your life. Plus, you get to lean on others which strengthens your relationships and makes them feel like a big contribution. What’s to lose?