There Are Some Things I Just Can't Do By MyselfFeb 04, 2023
There are some things I'm just not going to attempt to do myself.
For example...electrical. Plumbing.
I'm totally comfortable admitting it when, say, something is broken in my car that I can't fix it myself, and hiring an expert who can.
I'm totally comfortable hiring an electrician in favor of not blowing myself up or starting a fire when there's an electrical problem in my house.
If my shower starts spitting out pink slime like Ghostbusters 2, I'm calling a plumber (and/or the Ghostbusters, obvs).
But there are some things that I really struggled to admit I couldn't do all by myself!
Instead, I spent a long time shaming myself for not being able to just "figure it out."
I know that I'm shaming myself when the word "should" starts rattling around in my skull...
"I should just be able to do this myself."
"I should be able to make my business take off without a coach."
"I should be able to think my way out of this problem on my own."
"I should be able to muster the focus and energy to stop avoiding the project I want to complete."
I held myself for years in those "should's."
And all it did was hold me back and make me feel badly about myself, because, as it turns out, telling yourself you should be able to figure something out doesn't actually help you figure it out.
What had to change for me was that I had to get fed up.
I had to get so sick of things staying the same that I shifted from, "I should just be able to..."
"Okay well I can't. Okay!? I just can't. I actually need help with this. So now what?"
And it turns out that admission, that acceptance of what was, had created the space to ask a new question:
If I can't do it myself then what?
And that new question presented me with a fork in the road. I stop trying, or I get help.
So simple, and yet, I hadn't been able to get there while I was guilting and shaming myself for the fact that I actually didn't know how to run a business, and frequently got into such major overwhelm about it that I succumbed to avoidance and defeat.
Guilt and shame are like that — they keep us stuck where we are.
Acceptance is like opening a door that allows us to make a choice about whether or not we'd like to go somewhere else.
Once I accepted that if I could have figured out how to make my business profitable on my own I would have done it already, and I was sick of throwing endless spaghetti at the wall that almost never stuck, I got determined to get help, because I wasn't ready to quit.
At that point, when I was wallowing in my despair drama moments, I liked to say I'd tried everything... but I hadn't tried hiring an expert or investing in education to learn the skills I needed to learn.
I hadn't tried having accountability that kept me out of avoidance, or giving my nervous system the resources it needed to stay out of overwhelm.
And I realized I didn't want to give up before I'd actually tried everything.
So I did. I got a coach. I got into business courses. I started filling my knowledge gaps, and relying on my coach in the moments where I felt stuck, scared, or overwhelmed instead of shutting down.
And you know what?
I was scared, of course. I was scared to change, and I was scared to put up the money — it was a lot of money to spend on something I wasn't 100% sure would give me results.
But I was 100% sure I wasn't getting results already, and 100% sure I was going to apply every new skill I learned.
I was 100% sure that I was going to take advantage of every bit of support my coach offered, and ask every single question I had...and even though I was scared, being sure of those things was enough to get me moving.
I committed, I applied myself, and things shifted. Dramatically. Relatively quickly.
Now, every time I realize that I'm holding things up because I'm struggling to do something by myself, I get help.
The process has gotten quite fast, and while it's always a little intimidating to plunk the money down, it's worth it because I know the options are "things stay like this indefinitely," or, "someone helps me and it gets done sooner."
Now, on average, I spend about $20,000 a year on coaching and continuing education (whether it be on business topics or increasing my skillset as a practitioner).
It can still be nerve wracking to plunk down the cash, but I do it because I know what's waiting for me on the other side.
I do it, over and over again, because I accept that there are certain things I just can't (or wont) do if left to my own devices. And rather than beat myself up about that, I empower and resource myself by giving myself the help I need.
I consider that a profound act of love. I love myself enough to do whatever it takes to get myself the help I need, rather than guilting, blaming, or shaming myself for needing help.
And that not only made my business better, but it made my life better, it made my mental health better, it made myself esteem better, and it makes me feel cared for and nurtured where I used to feel abandoned and overwhelmed.
It helped me heal lifelong patterns of being the "I hate asking for help" person in other areas of my life (like my friendships and romantic relationships). By practicing admitting I needed help, unshaming that need, and simply asking for and investing in the help — and then allowing myself to receive it, and noticing that nothing bad happened — I showed myself that I could do that in other areas where I shamed myself and isolated as well.
We all need help sometimes. We aren't meant to do everything alone. And even if we could eventually figure everything out alone through struggle and trial and error, we don't always have to. And accepting that, even loving that, is a profoundly healing gift we can give ourselves. And our businesses.
PS. If this is resonating for you, and you're feeling something in you saying, "Maybe it's okay to admit I need help with this thing I've been saying I should be able to figure out by myself," then I'd love to be your coach. Click here to book a call to discuss whether I'm the right person to help you.
No pressure ever, if I can't help, I'll tell you so, and if I know someone who can, I'll always give you a referral.
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