I have always found it difficult to ask for help. I love feeling like I’m independent, strong, capable and in control. My family has always been the kind to sort it out ourselves; very “every man is an island” type people, and that’s rubbed off on me in a big way.
I love to say “yes” and learn new things and sometimes that means I get crazy overwhelmed by all the things there are to do both personally and professionally. But with a little bit of burn out mid last year, I eventually came to the realisation that I straight up can’t say “yes” to everything. I can’t stand as an island and expect to learn everything there is to learn about how to be a good person, and be healthy and happy and successful. And I certainly can’t learn, on my own, all there is to learn about owning and running a business.
So I’m not good at asking for help, but after months of feeling like I was drowning under an endless task list and never knowing where to go and what to prioritise, I realised something had to give.
My pride had to take a hit. And it might hurt.
I wrote down a list of things that were important to me:
- My business
- My health
- My future
For those things, I wrote down everything those three involved. Every little task from cleaning the house, to eating salads, to running my Instagram and writing blog posts, to doing my taxes and learning new things. I categorised those into what my strengths were and what I was most passionate about, and what my weaknesses were and what I dreaded doing.
Then, I wrote down my hopes for my life and what I would choose for myself in a perfect world where my will was the only thing that stood in my way.
From these activities I was able to look rationally at my life and my business and put things in different categories.
- Things I want to and can control
- Things I can’t do anything about, right now
- Things I want more training or help in
- Things I could happily give up tomorrow
- Things I want to prioritise moving forward
From this, it was so easy to see where I should be asking for help.
- Telling my personal trainer I wanted more accountability for my nutrition.
- Finding someone to help me prioritise my stupidly long to do list for my business, and give me guidance and focus.
- Signing up for courses in the things that interested me the most, instead of what I thought I should be learning.
- Finding support for my mental health.
- Finding someone to do my finances for me, or manage the parts of my business I was less passionate about, like Pinterest or Facebook.
- Automating that things that took up most of my time that didn’t have to be done manually.
And yeah, a lot of these things meant asking for help, and that was Big Scary and sucked a lot.
But as a result, I realised that I’m not as strong as I could be, when I’m being an island. Asking for help and building a plan and a support team around myself only makes me stronger. Asking for help isn’t a weakness, but possibly my biggest strength, and learning to recognise when I should do it might be the best lesson I could ever learn.
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