I've been independent for as long as I can remember. That being said, because of my stoic, "I've got this handled" mentality, I'm a prime candidate for not asking for help when I need it. During break-ups, transitions and funks, I handle things quietly and in solitude. After the emotional storm I'll usually share my experience with friends and watch their jaws drop...
"Why didn't you tell us?!"
I've come to the realization that this so-called "independence" is based on the false assumption that people won't be able to handle me or help me.
I'm ready for a change.
Here are 3 tips for asking for help if you're independent, self-reliant and strong:
1) Be Clear
Case in point, I texted my friend last week. I asked how she was doing, inquired about her life and then briefly alluded to how I was "fine" but could be better. I kept things upbeat, saying my situation was on the upward trajectory and threw in some smiley face emojis to lighten the mood.
Try as I might, I have a deeply ingrained belief that I should handle things alone. Today, I called my friend and simply said, "I'm not okay." My shoulders relaxed. I was done pretending. Be specific, be clear and be authentic with your inner circle.
2) Show Your Cards
Recently, I had a confessional-type conversation with my best friend about all the ways I wasn't being my ideal self. I cringed as I uttered each of my sins and waited for her to gasp in horror. Instead, she shared how she relates pretty wholeheartedly to what I'm going through and we laughed more than I could have imagined. Reach out to family and friends. Be blunt, be vague or talk in barely formed sentences until your problems start making sense.
Your life requires realness, vulnerability and connection. Speak to another person and receive the beautiful medicine of being fully accepted for who you are - flaws and all.
I've relied on therapists, healers and meditation teachers for years to process my stuff. And you know what happened to me the other day? I actually had the following thought...I should be able to handle things on my own.
Umm, I'm a therapist. I'm in the business of helping people and sometimes my brain doesn't even buy what I'm selling.
We move faster with the support of someone else. It's normal to feel stuck in a rut every now and then, but if you feel the downward spiral is lasting too long, try something different. Explore workshops, therapists, healers, coaches or anything to get you out of a stuck place.
Shed the anxiety, the pressure and the constant need to power through things on your own. Your truth, even if it feels scary and like no one will understand, will be of service to someone else. Give yourself permission to be real. When we step up the plate, others follow. If you feel scared, I'm right there with you.
Take a breath, release your need to be perfect, and remember you're never alone.
When was the last time you got real about what was going on? Are there times you energetically put yourself on airplane mode? Do you have an emotional emergency contact? Share in the comments section below.
For more info on connection and vulnerability, read Brene Brown's bestselling book: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead.
I'm also adding a new service - Flower Essence Consultations. If you've heard of Rescue Remedy, which is sold at Whole Foods, then you've heard of flower essences. Flower essences support us through anxiety, fear, life transitions and much more. Phone and Skype sessions are available if you're not in NYC. Contact me for more info!
Wishing you all my very best,
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