It’s a curious thing, asking for help. On one hand, you’re admitting that you can’t do “it all” on your own. It can give you a pang in the stomach as though you aren’t quite good enough and have somehow failed. Aren’t we supposed to be able to do everything ourselves these days? And yet on the other hand, asking for help can open up infinite possibilities, something I’m only just beginning to realise.
Last year 2 girls reached out to offer to help with my training school, Shine From Within. It’s an holistic deportment and personal development school for teen girls so it requires a lot of event planning, content creation, marketing and building community connections, taking enquiries and of course actually running the courses and being there 100% for every beautiful student that walks through our doors. For so long I’ve tried to do all of this on my own. Which, let’s be honest, is necessary when you are just starting out. But at what point do you start to accept help?
These were some of the things that came up for me:
- I’m too busy to train someone
- They won’t be able to do it the way I want it done anyway
- I can’t afford it
- I don’t want to bother anyone or put someone else out
- I can’t think about this right now because I’m so overwhelmed and just have to get this done!
So I blew these girls off. I kindly said, “Thank you, it’s wonderful that you’d like to be a part of the team but there’s nothing for you right now.”
Thankfully, they persisted. They both chipped away over the next 6 months, while I continued to try to do everything on my own, while also building a house, doing my eco-advocacy work with beautiful clients like the College of Natural Beauty and I needed to take a break in there as I was getting run down. I’m quick to check in with myself these days and be gentle with myself when I need to, but I was still stuck in a space where I felt like only I could help myself. It was all on me.
Eventually I met with these 2 persistent girls and fell in love. They got me. They got what I was trying to do with Shine From Within. And they were happy to do whatever they could to be involved.
They’ve transformed my life.
The last course I ran, I paid for one of them to be there fulltime to assist me for the week, along with a couple of volunteers and it allowed me to really enjoy the experience and be more present with the students. I wasn’t totally fried at the end of the week which has meant I can be more productive and keep the momentum going. It has opened me up to the benefits of saying too little words, “please help.”
One of the past students also wanted to come along and help out as a volunteer. I was so grateful to have her there but I still felt a bit guilty that I couldn’t pay her. As I drove her home one afternoon she must have sensed this and said to me, “Thank you. I don’t think you realise how much of a gift it is to be able to help in some way. People want to help. It feels good. Thank you for letting me.”
Wow. I was so consumed by how it made me feel to accept help that I hadn’t even considered the gift it can be for the other person.
So ask for help. Ask your Mum to help with something – she wants to feel needed. Pay someone to do that crappy thing that you hate doing – you’ll be surprised at where the money will come from to support you. Accept that offer once in a while. Trust people’s good intentions and get out of your own way. The possibilities are endless and I’m only just starting to explore the growth and potential in my own business and life. I wish I had asked for help sooner.
A version of this post originally appeared on the Wellspring Blog.
** I’ve got 2 spots available for Gentle Living Coaching at the moment. Get in touch if you’d like to have a free complimentary consult to see if this is something you’d like to explore. I specialise in helping women get clear on how they can live their most peaceful lives.