Why is it SO hard for us to ask for help? Somehow we've bought into this idea of 'If I can't do it myself, I'm a failure' or 'I have to do this myself to prove I can do it' or 'If I have to ask for help, then I'm weak' or some other static loop that's running in our heads around how utterly ridiculous it would be to simply ask for help.
"It is a fact that in the right formation, the lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone." - Anonymous.
No one is an island; we all know this and yet we still operate as if there's some magical way that we can do it alone. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING we do, can do, will do, or have done will ever be accomplished alone. It's time to place this illusion on the shelf. Actually, better than that, let's just torch it once and for all. Trust me, this message is as much for my ears as I'm eager to share it.
We're social beings, it's how we're wired. We all fall on the continuum somewhere when it comes to how much socializing we need to thrive; but the point is we need community just as much as we need solitude, again, the ratio varies, but the combo is certain.
In my role as an Orange Duffel Bag Coach, this week we spent some time discussing this very subject with the students. Our primary topic was change, but included was inspiration, motivation, goal-setting and courage. We talked about how to move forward to see the reality of our goals, our intentions, how to actually create the type of lives and work that matters to us. How do we move forward, though, when resistance rears its ugly head? Resistance is simply fear awakened from its nap, at least that's how I see it.
This is where a little help from our friends comes in...this is where some genuine support and good ol' fashioned accountability can help us soar beyond mediocrity and status quo.
Whether you work in an established structure for someone else or you're in business for yourself, support and accountability can go a long way in helping you create what you want.
I'm a HUGE fan of pulling together your own board of directors or establishing some serious power connections. Both of these arrangements require connecting with a group of trusted individuals for the purpose of forward momentum and progress.
Some may say, "Yeah, like a mastermind group"? A mastermind group can certainly fit into this category. But, regardless of what we call it, the end result is a group of individuals who have your back and you've got theirs!
Board of Directors - a small group (4 to 6) of trusted and experienced connections who have your best interests at heart and who have agreed to keep you on task. Look for mentors and experienced individuals - both inside and outside your industry or specialty area. The objective is to meet with them on a consistent basis to discuss your goals and plan of action to accomplish them. It's oftentimes difficult to gather this kind of a powerful circle and keep it intact long-term, but it is possible. This can be a powerful way to keep your momentum going. This group is assembled to focus on your goals. Your contribution is to negotiate what's in it for them to ensure regular participation.
Mastermind Group - a small group that "offers a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen your business and personal skills...it helps you and your mastermind group members achieve success. Participants challenge each other to set powerful goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them. The group requires commitment, confidentiality, willingness to both give and receive advice and ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion." See The Success Alliance for more info. This is a group of peers whose intention is to meet on a consistent basis to support one another.
Power Connections - (my own personal creation) are one to one relationships with individuals you trust; he or she is experienced; your personal and professional equal as it relates to what you want to accomplish, why, and how; knows you and will be honest with you; is not afraid to be vulnerable; and will hold you accountable, no BS allowed. This is a peer partnership with the intention of meeting on a consistent basis to support one another.
I've had experience with all three, but the one that aligns best with my personality are power connections. You see, of the Five Love Languages, mine is quality time, which translates to me being all about the one on one conversation; it stokes me like no other arrangement. So, I've set up five power connections that I participate in once a month. Some are local, some are long distance. Either way, I'm connecting with at least five people every month in a very honest and supportive way where I hold them accountable and they do the same for me. It's a beautiful arrangement!
Your next step is to establish some criteria, consider the following questions:
These questions and more of your own are important to answer when assembling your group or selecting your power connection partners. Remember, you don't want to necessarily select folks who think and approach things just like you; consider folks who will serve as a compliment to your talents, skills, abilities, interests, experiences, etc. I also suggest that you suggest a trial period (if you're unsure) to determine if the partnership is a good fit for both you and them.
There's nothing wrong with a little help, support and accountability. Nothing changes until we do. And, there are times when we need a gentle nudge to move in our desired direction. Having someone in your corner and you in theirs sounds like a win/win for everyone, eh?
Aspiring Sage, Creative Maven, Fancier of Books, Guardian of Student Experiences, Inner Explorer, Lover of Living & Learning, Partisan of Play, Princess of Joy, Purveyor of Possibility, Vibrational Recalibrator.