Last month, I started a project that I had been procrastinating for a long time. I felt a sense of accomplishment for taking the first step but this feeling quickly faded as I realized how difficult this work was for me. My mind was flooded with thoughts about my inability to complete this task. I felt like giving up but because this assignment was so important to me, I used mindfulness and acceptance skills to diminish the power that my negative thoughts and feelings were having on me. These tools helped me get back to work but didn’t make the job any easier. I knew that this project required some skills that I don’t have, but my mind kept telling me that it wasn’t okay to ask for help.
We can be reluctant to ask for help when we need to do something that we’ve never done before or haven’t been taught how to do. Sometimes it’s because we fear being judged negatively by others if we admit that we are not perfect, but other times the judgment we fear is from ourselves. Where did we get the idea that we should be able to do everything on our own? With almost everything we do, there are others that have contributed to making it happen. Think about that cup of coffee you drank this morning. Do you know how many people were involved with making sure you had your warm beverage? Let’s start with the coffee farmer. Then there’s the people who packaged the coffee, the person who delivered the coffee, the creator of the coffee maker, the electric company to run the coffee maker and so on. You get the point. The number of people who made that cup of Joe possible is immeasurable. But you got your coffee and didn’t have a single negative thought about being unable to do it yourself.
For many people, the pain of asking for help is due to holding on tightly to the belief that we should be completely independent. Once I let go of this belief and accepted that I do not have to be entirely self-sufficient, I was able to seek assistance. And you know what? I completed my project and even learned a few things that will make it easier in the future. What things are you struggling with that would be less complicated with the guidance of another person? When you allow yourself to let go of perfectionist beliefs, it frees you up to reach out for support.
If you’d like to learn more about how mindfulness and acceptance skills can help you reach your goals, call Serenity Solutions for a free consultation.