Category Archives: Personal Reflections

What Stops You From Asking For Help?

Recently, I commented on a post and shared my thoughts regarding lessons learned and how to help one another. The main thing that spoke to me was the fact that many of us do not ask for the help that we need. I must admit, I am one of the many. I am not prideful or anything like that. I just prefer to do as much as I can on my own. If I ask for help, it usually feels like the end of my option list.

We, as human beings, all need help more than we ask for it or even realize. Although we don’t ask for help as often as need it, we offer it constantly. We actually help each other on a daily basis. We utilize services from one another, we conduct business with one another, and most of us have jobs that even require us to help others. Helping is a way that humans operate in the world.

Since helping is a natural part of life the way that it is, I cannot help but arrive at the question, Why is it so hard to ask for help?

I called my sister and asked her the question. We talked about it for quite some time. She described an incident that caused her to ask the same question. When she told me about the experience that she had, I asked her if she felt that our background had anything to do with it. Needless to say, we both do. As the conversation progressed, we reviewed our individual experiences in life as well as childhood memories. We talked about the lessons that life taught us and what those lessons mean.

One of the things that came up was the fact that we are often conditioned to feel like asking for help is a sign of weakness. We are often shunned or told to figure it out when we turn to other for help. Some people feel that if you cannot accomplish something on your own that asking for assistance is an easy way out. People may even refer to you as lazy because you asked for help but criticize you if you make a mistake because you didn’t ask for help.

We also talked about how those reactions make asking for help extremely difficult. It makes accomplishing tasks and goals that much harder as well. When someone makes you feel bad for doing something so natural, it will cause you to question your actions in the future. I can remember asking questions and being ignored or told to be quiet. My sister shared a few of her experiences with me. Her experiences did not differ greatly from mine, there were just different people involved. By the end of the conversation, we discovered a few things that keep us from asking for help.

1. People don’t ask for help because they are afraid of the response.

It can be extremely difficult to ask for help if you have been shut down or chastised for it in the past. It is easy to understand why you would be reluctant to ask for help. However, everyone is not the same. Situations may repeat themselves but the people will be different and so will the response. The way to overcome this is to know who to ask. There is no reason to set yourself up for rejection by asking for help from someone who you know will speak more than they act. You will never be able to predict what someone will say, but you have the choice to choose a person that you feel will act accordingly. Usually, it is someone who has been there for you in the past and proven themselves to be reliable. You will never know what will happen if you do not ask for help.

2. People don’t ask for help because they are afraid of how they will appear to others.

Perception is everything when it comes to growth and development. Although we cannot control how others will respond to or receive us, we give them so much weight on our life scale. There are some people who are concerned with how others will look at them if they ask for help. I am sure that “others” are not considered when things are going well so they should not be as important when assistance is needed. Focusing so heavily on what others will say or do if we ask for help removes focus from actually accomplishing the goals that we set out to accomplish. Asking for help does not make you look bad, it makes you look smart. If you never speak up and ask questions or get help, you will remain where you are.You should build a support team of people who will guide you when you need guidance so that you can focus less on how others will view you and more on how you can move forward.

3. People don’t ask for help because they are afraid it admits failure.

Admitting that you are wrong is a hard thing to do. It is one of the things that most of us avoid at all cost. More times than not, when we admit our wrongs it causes us to face the facts of a situation and accept that we made a mistake. In addition to that, when it comes to asking for help, we tend to see failure as a stop sign rather than a u-turn sign. There is nothing wrong with making a mistake. Mistakes are actually how we learn. Asking for help can prevent us from making the mistakes that we try so hard to hide. When we get to a point of uncertainty, it is wise to seek guidance and assistance before we move forward. It is better to make an informed decision rather than an uninformed one.

We are hindering our growth when we don’t ask for help, regardless of the reason that keeps us from asking. It would behoove us to learn how to move past these stumbling blocks in order to be more successful in our daily activities.

So, what stops you from asking for help in your personal life, business, or both?

Pack It Up – Working on the move

Anyone that is a creative person will agree with me when I say that there is nothing like finding your groove. If you don’t know what the groove is, I’ll tell you. It’s the moments generated from uninterrupted passion and exploration. The groove is the place where the magic happens for creatives. It’s a great place to be. I enjoy my groove very much. It can be very difficult to find your groove at times. For that reason, I am extremely annoyed when my groove is interrupted. I also understand that as a single mother and a rising entrepreneur, I have to make adjustments and create new grooves whenever and wherever I can.

I have been a single parent for roughly 6 years and I can say that the struggle with that never ceases. At the same time, I can say that the response to the struggle can make all the difference. We can affect the outcome by focusing on the positive lessons that can be learned from each experience. Some of the struggles that affected our lives was my work schedule, workload, and the time I spent away from home. I knew that some things needed to change but I did not know what to do.January 2016, I lost my job and decided to start my business. August 2016, I started homeschooling two of my children.

During this process of starting a business and homeschooling, one of the major lessons I have been learning is how to create a groove on the go. I have to be able to take my notebook, or my laptop, or my phone with me so that I can work while one child dances, one runs, and one plays softball. There are also field trips and educational outings that interrupt our days. This is not to mention the regular flow of life like grocery shopping, doctor’s appointments, and general errands.

I have had to learn how to be productive in my entrepreneurial endeavors all the while being a mommy. I cannot lie and say that is was not hard in the beginning. I can’t even say that it’s not hard now. I do know that I have learned a lot since I started. I was always getting frustrated with having to stop right in the middle of what I felt was greatness. I would feel like my kids were not letting me be great. Once I started to think that they were the reason that some tasks had to be postponed, I had to look closer at how I was prioritizing my time.

Of course, there are things that require devoted attention partnered with peace and quiet. I am not attempting to replace those moments. I am, however, interested in making better use of the moments when I do not have those luxuries. I had to not only look at myself, I had to include my children. I was making so many decisions around them without even taking into consideration how they may want to be involved. I had to learn to make their moments mean more just as I was attempting to make my moments matter.

I wanted to know how I could get things done and still be available to my children. I stopped guessing about what they wanted and asked them. They told me that they would like to be more involved with what I do. They want to be on my schedule for more than extracurricular activities. I listened to what they wanted and decided to devise a schedule that works for us all. It provides me with the space I need at times, allows me to accomplish my tasks, and keeps home school running smoothly as well.

In an effort to help keep me prepared for these interruptions, I started keeping “tools” all around me. There are notepads and pens in the car and in every room in the house. I have created a “to-go” back for my computer and notebooks that’s easy to grab and very functional. I have also synced my phone to my computer so that I can transition smoother. I use multiple apps to keep me organized and focused even when I have to pack it up and work on the move.

I’m Happy You’re Here

Just when I thought that I was good being by myself, you came along changed it up. Like a dope remix to a song you already loved, you switched it. You said, “Hey Beautiful” and at that moment, I had no idea who you were or what you were on. I didn’t know if I should let my guard down or if I should run in the opposite direction. From there, I did a little research on you. I was not disappointed by what turned up. I could not find anything that repulsed me, offended me, annoyed me, or anything like that. From what I could see, you seemed to be cool. You seemed cool enough to be somebody that I could be friends with. So…I responded back and said, “Hello.”

In that moment I didn’t have any expectations. I just wanted to see what would happen. I was curious. I did not want to get excited about anyone that may be just passing through. I did not think that you were coming into my life to change it or to impact it the way that you have. I was willing to see what opportunities you were knocking with; the door was closed when you got here. I was not going to push you away without valid reason. I had no reason to deny you a chance. Denying you was the opposite of what happened. Your mind captivated me. Your conversation engaged me. It was such a clean transition.

You went from being a stranger to someone who I enjoyed getting to know. Every moment spent getting to know you is beautiful. It feels good to connect with someone who is so much like me and so different at the same time. The connection is like a hand and glove or a head and a skully. Something like a match that just fits better than you could have ever imagined. I did not think that things would go this way. You came along and stirred up my comfort zone. You changed my thoughts about maintaining my single status.

I remembered that I have not been ‘bae’ for quite some time, though. I had been single for a good little minute. I was not even sure I was ready like I said I was. What I knew is that I was intrigued by you and I could not deny that. You have shown me so many wonderful things and I am so thankful. You have shown me that you are a handcrafted creation. A gentle touch from your strong hands gives comfort and protection. Your knowledge and wisdom give guidance and understanding. You are a gem, a gift, and I treasure you. I did not know that you were coming to me. If I knew, I would have been ready. I would have done some things differently. Since there is nothing I can do about all of that, I will focus on the facts.

You are here now. You are amazing. I am happy that you are here. You were given to me at such an amazing time. You have seen my transformations and turmoil and you are still here. You have been through a few things on your end and you have allowed me to stay on your side. We give one to another and it is so genuine. I have not felt a connection, a pull, with anyone like this. You were sent down from the top of my storm cloud to usher in the light. I see that. Your truth and honesty are respected and appreciated. The prototype of what many classify as a ‘real dude’, you give a whole new meaning to finding a REAL love.

Legacy

Every day is an opportunity to improve your situation. What are you doing with your days? There is nothing like an epiphany to get you closer to where you need to be. That is exactly what happened to me. I had to sit down and ask myself just that. Prior to this, I could see things getting done and I could see things I was leaving on the table. I did not like that view. It was not conducive to the life I want to live so I wanted to change that. I have goals to leave more than just my memory behind.

At that moment, I decided to adjust the way that I moved through my day. I sat down and thought about everything that I wanted to get done in the next few weeks. I set dates for those goals and wrote them on my calendar. Then I went through my planner and created what each day would look like. Although this may seem pointless to some, it makes a massive difference in how you approach your goals.

I have a goal of being a successful entrepreneur and that takes a lot of work. My field of choice is writing and that requires a lot of time. Planning the days out allows me to see what needs to get done, not just try to remember it all. There are spaces in my day to add in and adjust as things arise but having this blueprint builds consistently and awareness.

The next thing that I did was to write how much money I want to make each day according to time. I had to decide how much time I will spend doing things that don’t make money for me. As an entrepreneur, every dollar has a clock. Each frivolous moment that I spend doing things that do not advance my business is unproductive time spent. That is not to say that time with family and taking time for self is not important, it is very important and must be budgeted into time slots of their own. When it comes to the business time or what most like to call “free time”, you have to decide how you spend that time or how much money you would like to make.

As I stated, personal time and family time is also very important. I also had to figure out how much time I wanted to devote to myself and my loved ones. A social life is not important to me unless it is benefiting my business. I had to sit down and have a real deep internal moment with myself in order to determine how I will leave the legacy that I want to leave behind. I had to make some very difficult choices. I also had to swallow some really hard pills. As a truth seeker, I am built for this. There is no need to get down when plans change. There is just a need for adjustment.

As a girl and a young woman, I had a plan for my life. I wanted to be in a certain place at this point. Things did not go as I planned and I had to adjust. I attempted to adjust my plans but I was approaching it from a backward angle that forced me to keep running into similar problems. When I realized that I had to lead from within I noticed that things started to change. I trusted the inner feeling that guides us. My meditative moments have revealed so much to me. Allowing the truth to reside makes it easier to progress and create a legacy, not just memories.

Not A Typical Day

It was a day like any other, I woke up and proceeded with my daily routine. I got my daughter ready for school and made my coffee. Once her bus departed with her safely loaded, it was time for me to leave. I grabbed my coffee and headed out the door. I did not have a destination in the physical sense, but I knew that I needed to get away from here. I drifted in my mind while my body was still driving. The peaceful presence of silence was so soothing that I lost me. My eyes closed and I surrendered to the feeling. I drifted from this realm to the next and saw a glimpse of what my life could be.

The traffic lights appeared to be beacons of hope. Each green light encouraging me to keep moving forward. Showing me that there is no need to slow down. These lights revealed that I am not the only one in this space. If I stay still at the green light, I am holding up myself and others. It reminded me that there are others waiting for my success. The yellow lights instruct me to proceed with caution and pay close attention to what is going on. This light spoke and told me to take my time and that there is no rush. I could blow past it and keep it moving or I can slow down and assess the situation. The strength of the red light told me that sometimes I will need to take a break in order to keep going. This light reminds me that sometimes you have to stop and rest. Going through this light could be the end of everything.

The support from the universe sings loud like a church choir. The force is with me and within me. The altruistic force of peace, love, and light are the blood, veins, and vessels of who I am. In this moment, I am being shown more than I can understand. I am pulled in directions that I did not know that I could reach. My pineal gland is flushed and revived; I‘m open. I am guided by the universe and strengthened by its embrace.

The drive in the car was initiated with no set destination but the ride was already planned. The journey already commenced. The path was waiting for my trail. It was necessary for this to happen in order for me to reach a new level of clarity. The clarity is needed to gather truth. Truth is the safe place in which I dwell. This drive turned into the ride of a lifetime.

Today started off like any other day, but it is a day I will never forget.