I make a lot of mistakes, but when I look back over time, I see one consistent type of mistake that I’ve made over and over and over again. I’ve seen it so often in my clients that I’ve come to think of it as “the smart woman’s mistake” because we seem so incredibly vulnerable to making it.
The mistake – well, quite simply, it’s not asking for help.
Whether we decide we shouldn’t “need” any help, whether our stubbornness grows our determination to do it ourselves, whether we feel like we don’t deserve extra assistance, or whether it simply never occurs to us to reach out, not asking for help is a trap that short-circuits so many smart women’s results.
I know it has affected mine. I can make a very long list of things that would have happened sooner, been easier, or that would have been more successful if I had freely and easily asked for assistance, support, or mentoring.
I can also make an equally long list of incredible things in my life that NEVER would have happened if I hadn’t asked for or accepted help. These things include meeting my husband, finding and buying the home that I love, launching TooMuchonHerPlate.com, writing my book, running my first marathon, offering the programs that I do, and a whole host of other great things that make my life a happy one. Including on this list – making peace with food, which put me on the path to the life I feel so lucky to live.
So much of the person that I am and the things that I do today exist only because I learned what peace with food is and I discovered how to create a life that allows me to have it. That happened because I asked for help. Help that led me to better tools and strategies, help that supported me and showed me a different path, help that challenged the mental models that kept getting me stuck – over and over again. And you know?
It would have happened sooner if I had known to ask sooner.
There are lots of reasons smart, busy women don’t ask for help
Sometimes you don’t know how to ask for help. Maybe you think someone can’t help you. Maybe you think it’s pointless because you don’t know exactly what to ask for. Maybe you are so used to dealing with things in private that you don’t even consider asking for help or sharing your struggles. It might not even occur to you?
Maybe you think you are the only one who feels this way and no one could relate.
It will look bad.
It will feel bad.
It won’t work.
Asking for help feels vulnerable. Smart, capable women are often uncomfortable being visible with vulnerabilities. We are used to being strong and competent. And successful.
Yes. I get it. I have been there. I still go there. I forget to ask for help. Luckily I’m a lot better at noticing the signs and switching gears. But I still get stuck.
But you know what? When you ask for help and let (the right) help in, the feeling is almost always one of immense relief. When someone gets it.
When you realize that indeed, you are not alone. When sharing the situation opens up the possibility that there IS a way forward. It’s like losing 50 pounds of emotional baggage instantly.
And that’s even before you start receiving the actual help. Take it from someone who has been there. Over and over again.
Take good care,