I was at a networking event a few days ago where one of the topics discussed were the challenges we face as entrepreneurs. All the attendees were women and one of the issues identified was asking for help. I can relate to this both personally and professionally. I used to think I had to do it all on my own and I’ll admit, even when help was offered, I would often refuse it. I did this not because I didn’t need it, but because I once held the belief that accepting help was akin to admitting defeat.
I’m not sure where the belief that accepting help was a reflection of my inability to do something, and why admitting that I wasn’t the person best suited to do something was such a negative thing. Perhaps it’s from watching my parents, who did so much on their own, without hiring “experts”. I saw them doing so much and it was as if I forgot how frustrated they would be at times because they were struggling to do something that wasn’t in their wheelhouse.
The funny thing is I enjoy helping others. I do it without expecting anything in return because I love helping people get unstuck. It’s one of the reasons I was in the not-for-profit industry for over a decade and why I became a coach! Whenever I struggle with accepting help I remind myself of the gratification I get from helping others.
I’m often reminded of the Prayer of St. Francis, that says: “For it is in giving that we receive”. Not accepting the help that is offered to me is denying the giver of the opportunity to receive whatever good they get from giving. It’s something I often forget and I am constantly working on improving.
Along with asking for help, another challenge that I know I’m not alone in experiencing is receiving a compliment. I used to struggle with accepting a compliment. I would always downplay it or simply dismiss it. My go-to for any compliments about my appearance would be to make a self-deprecating joke.
I admit I’m a work in progress when it comes to being open to receiving. Whether it’s help, a compliment or an unexpected opportunity, I am committed to stopping the pattern of blocking the blessings that come my way. I realize that my old habit of not being willing to receive has sent a message to the universe that I don’t want the very things I’ve often complained about not having.
The truth is I don’t want to have to do things on my own so why not accept the help that is offered to me? I don’t like having my efforts and accomplishments dismissed so why deny the praise that is given to me? I want to be open to all of the amazing opportunities that are out there that will allow me to live a full life and make my goals a reality so why limit myself as to what’s possible?
I am committed to being open to receiving everything that is meant for my life. I will continue to do the work necessary to keep myself open to the blessings headed my way and let go of expecting them to come in a certain way. I will remind myself on a consistent basis that giving and receiving go hand in hand and without reciprocity things go stagnant. Let’s keep the cycle flowing continuously!