Help! I Need Someone
I am blessed to have three nieces and a nephew in my life, along with the addition of twin great-nieces two years ago. With the excitement of a third great-niece any day now, I’ve been thinking about the first years of their early lives.
While each had unique characteristics and special qualities, there were two things they all had in common – of course, each of them was the smartest fill-in-the-blank-year-old there ever was; and, interestingly, they all had periods of time when they routinely, and emphatically, declared “I do myself.”
Demonstrating achievement, asserting independence and claiming control over one’s actions is a milestone for toddlers. It marks a time focused on growth … of taking risks … of displaying confidence. As an adult, it still feels good when you figure out something that’s difficult completely on your own; and, there’s a sense of pride in knowing you can handle almost any challenge that faces you. Count me in on that.
At the same time, the I do myself approach in our not-so-youthful years can actually have the opposite impact on growth, risk-taking and confidence. By not asking for support, am I really growing in ways that could help me tackle a project? When I choose to simply try harder all on my own, am I not playing it safe because others won’t see my struggles? In not sharing my lack of knowing what to do, am I not silently chipping away at my own confidence?
There is choice in declaring what type of control you want in life. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, there is strength in knowing that: achievement comes from others’ involvement; approval from others doesn’t validate worth; and taking even small risks can create huge growth.
Asserting complete independence does not serve us in our adult years. Ultimately, I do myself can erode into I limit myself. And, how ironic – and sad – it would be that clinging to the approach we took in our very early years would stifle our growth in later ones.
This Week: Identify a project or task where you feel you’re in over your head; rather than spending lots of time trying to figure “it” out completely on your own, ask for help. That help can be in the form of having someone simply listen to you or join in on brainstorming ideas; it can be a resource for pointing you to other resources. You never know until you ask!
In Next Week’s Post: Shifting mindsets.
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