Let’s be real, we all need help sometimes. So many of us serve faithfully on someone else’s support team (i.e. our spouse, our children, other family and friends, our coworkers). We are the first person on the call list because people know that they can count us to be there during their time of need. Yes, we know how to give our help and support to others, but many of us have a problem being on the receiving end of help and support. We don’t ask for help or accept help from others, even from the people that we know love and care about us.
For example, how many times have you ignored a friend or family member’s request for you to “Let me know if there is anything I can do,” or “Let me know if you need my help with that.” “I’m here if you need anything.” Most often you just nod your head politely and say “Thank you,” but you have no real intention of taking that person up on their offer. In your mind, you say it’s because you don’t want to impose upon that person. But I believe there are several other different reasons.
On one hand, we fear being vulnerable and opening ourselves up too much to others. We don’t want people in our personal business or judging us, our shortcomings, our actions, or our decisions. On another hand, we don’t want anyone to know that we don’t have it all together or that we really don’t how to do something. And sometimes, it just seems easier to work through our own problems and situations and figure everything out on your own. But by not asking for help and seeking support when you really need it, you are only putting more pressure and stress on yourself.
You need to build your own support system and you need the right people in place. Aside from the given, your spouse and family, your support system should also include the following four people or groups of people:
1. Supportive Friends:
You need supportive friends. I’m not talking about your Facebook friends and followers, the ones who like all of your posts and pics, but you never communicate with them outside of social media. I’m not talking about your “frenemies,” the ones who are your friends up close, but hate when something good happens in your life. No, I’m talking about your real friends. The friends that you can depend on and trust with your confidences.
2. A Coach or Mentor:
You need a coach or mentor. Invest in yourself, get a coach or find a mentor. Someone that has been where you are, see where you’re going, and can help you get to where you want to be. When I started my business, I invested in a business coach. My business coach helped me with planning and strategy for my business.
3. An Accountability Partner:
You need an accountability partner. Now, this can very well be your coach, mentor, spouse or a friend. But you need someone who will help hold you accountable when it comes to taking action in your life and accomplishing your goals. This person or group will give you the straight truth and help you assess where you are in regards to your goals and progress. While this person may have to get tough sometimes and give it to you straight, they are a critical part of your support team.
4. A Group of Like-Minded People:
You need to surround yourself with like-minded people. People who share your goals, values and ambitions. A mastermind group for instance. This group understands where you are in your journey because they too are on their own journey. They will help lift you up and keep you moving in the right direction.
So, in addition for your spouse and family, you need supportive friends, a coach or mentor, an accountability partner and a group of like-minded individuals in your support system. When you have the right support system in place, asking for help and being able to receive support becomes easier. You get the help and support you need without worrying about being too vulnerable or exposed.
Remember, seeking support and asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it’s a sign of strength because you are strong and wise enough to know when to call in extra forces and who to go to for help and support.
You don’t always have to be the one that has it all together. We all need help sometimes. Your family, friends, coaches, mentors and other members of your support system care about you and your well-being, and want nothing more than to see you happy, healthy and prosperous.
We were not put on this earth to live alone or to operate in isolation. We were created to live in community and to help and support one another. And just like you help and support other people in your life, you also have to allow others to return the favor. Give others the opportunity to help and support you.
Tamara Hartley is your Advice Guru and How-To Coach. For more advice, tips and strategies for your Life, Relationships and Career, visit www.TamaraHartley.com or subscribe to TamaraHartley.tv. Connect with Tamara on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.