I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s in the midst of the women’s liberation movement. Being a strong, independent woman meant I could do whatever a man could: change my own flat tire, support myself financially, be the CEO of my own business, paint my walls… I could “do it myself”.
I remember feeling such pride when a male friend told me one day “Helen, you’re a better man than most men I know!”. (I cringe now when I remember that). He meant it as a compliment. He was saying I was strong and could take care of myself and my family because I was a single parent at the time.
I remember feeling pity and, truth be told, disdain for my female friends who were in a position that made them dependent on a man. Until a conversation with a dear friend put things in a different perspective for me. She was telling me that she had a flat tire the day before and had called her husband to come and change it for her. I was dismayed that she had to call someone to change her tire. Didn’t she know how to do it herself?
“Why would I want to?” She queried. When my husband comes to ‘rescue me’ and change the tire, he feels needed. He feels like my champion. He feels like a man!
Wow! A light bulb went off in my head! I realized that when we allow people to help us – to support us – they get to feel the satisfaction that comes with being of service to someone else.
They get to feel the joy of giving.
It’s been a journey of un-learning being so freaking independent. Allowing others to help and support me. Learning to RECEIVE. Especially in my business. My first OBM spend the first few months after I hired her telling me “you can give me more stuff to do you know. That’s what your paying me for!”. I’m still learning to let go more and receive more – without feeling guilty or like I’m burdening others.
Then there is the “next level learning” of:
1. Asking for help when I need it – without needing to justify, explain or rationalize it.
2. Saying yes to receiving abundance – i.e. – help and support I don’t really need but that feels delicious to have because it makes things easier and more fun. Like – having a coach even though my business is already successful; having someone clean my house even though I can do it myself; making more money even though I have “enough”; and going for a massage even though my body isn’t sore or in pain.
I came to realize that receiving isn’t as easy as it sounds.
You need to LET GO and TRUST in order to receive.
You need to SHIFT your belief systems that are centered around lack to ones aligned with abundance.
If you have ever been let down, betrayed, or abandoned, if you have ever experienced “not enough”, you have defense mechanisms in place (designed to protect you) that make it harder to make that shift. These are some of the internal blocks that we have to dissolve in order to BE a more successful CEO. An effective leader. A more present and connected spouse or parent. To BE happier, healthier and wealthier.
It gets easier as you heal those old wounds and see things from a different perspective.
It can be done. It’s easier than you think. I can help you with that. Click here to find out more.
My mother taught me to “do it all myself” out of love – to prevent me from finding myself in the painful situation she found herself in as a new bride on a farm in the early 50’s (before convenience foods.) She had to learn how to do SO many things while her husband and father-in-law worked the farm and expected her to handle her fair share in the house. First I had to learn that as a parent who worked outside the home full-time, I just COULDN’T sew my kids’ clothes and “keep house” like I imagined I should. It took me a LOT longer to learn that even if I DID have the time and ability, I didn’t HAVE to do things myself (like sew those matching curtains and bedspread or cook lasagna for 15!) I’m getting better at asking for help “just because”, and realizing that I’m allowing someone else to feel the satisfaction of giving to ME is really going to help! Thank you so much Helen for sharing these different perspectives. I think it will really help me help my clients – who are also strong women who are used to “doing it all themselves” – to feel more comfortable accepting my help!
Vugs (virtual hugs!)
Karen, thanks for taking the time to share your perspective.