The first time I had to learn the lesson that I needed help was when I was going through cancer treatments. This was the first time that I had to admit that I couldn't do things. I was literally stuck in bed. It was a very difficult thing to have to ask for help. It just felt wrong. But, I had to do it. I couldn't drive; in fact, I could barely walk. So I needed other people to do things for me.
Somehow I managed to get though it all. (I've now been cancer free for 11 years!)
Now, I thought I had learned that lesson. But, I have been going through some life difficulties these past few months and I found myself going right back into self-sufficient mode. Rather than asking for help, I again tried to deal with my problems all by myself. I felt like these were my problems and I didn't want to burden anyone else with them.
However, these problems were weighing me down to the point that my art was suffering. Nothing creative was coming out. Even the non-creative stuff was difficult to do. It got to the point where I felt like I was slogging through molasses.
Enter the support system.
I finally had to ask for help. It wasn't easy. At first it was like I was admitting defeat, like I was admitting I couldn't succeed on my own.
Well, it's true. No one can succeed on their own. We all need a support system. Not only do I not know everything, but I can't do everything. It was only when I recognized this that I was able to ask for help.
The interesting thing was that the people in my support system were more than willing to help. In fact they were a bit annoyed that I didn't ask sooner. They wanted to help!
And what happened next was quite interesting. Once the help arrived, the problems became much smaller. Some of them even went away. The assistance that I received put everything into a more positive perspective. And I had actionable things to work on. So instead of this one big gigantic hairy monster that was looming over me, it became a bunch of little monsters that were much easier to overcome.
As I have now learned the hard way, twice, you need a support system (or trusted advisors if you like the sound of that better). There are so many things that a support system can help you with such as:
- Help with problems
- Coming up with ideas
- As a sounding board
- For doing beta testing
- To help make decisions
- To question you if they think you are making a mistake
- To keep you on track
- To hold you accountable
I am so grateful for the people in my life that I can turn to when I need help. Surround yourself with people that you trust to look after your best interests. And be sure to ask for help. Not only will it help you to reach your goals much sooner, but you will find that your advisors will be grateful for the opportunity to provide assistance.