You are completely overwhelmed. You have a deadline in 2 hours: your house is a mess, the dog is not fed and you see your child struggling at the kitchen table with his homework. You want to pull your hair out. You feel angry at everyone and frustrated by the constant demands of life that pull you in twenty directions at one time. If this sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. These types of stories and ones like this are familiar to modern-day, working women. Part of the problem here is that we were told that we could be superwoman and do it all. “We are woman hear us roar” and we set out to prove it. Yet, once we “arrived”, it just did not match the picture in our head. We wanted to prove we could do it all and we had no idea we were setting ourselves up to fail. But we do not have to fail; we can do it all - as long as we have a great big support system and a whole lot of help.
In my work as a Life Coach and Energy Worker, I have found that many of the women I work with have difficulty asking for help. This is for myriad reasons. They feel guilty for not being able to do it all, they fear the person they ask will not do it as well as them or they simply cannot afford the time it takes to stop to explain to another how to do it. All of these things together add up to create an overworked, overextended and seriously cranky working parent.
The first thing that I suggest a client do when they find themselves overextended is to take a deep breath and after a healthy exhale, say what they really want to create. I do this in much of my work. We start at the end so that we can work our way back from there. They might say, “I want to have all my work done in a timely fashion so I have more time to play and enjoy my life.” Or, “I want to be organized so I can think freely and enjoy my work more.” The problems we face are the very things that can provide clarity about what it is that we really want. Once we figure out where we are going, we work back. The question I always ask is this: “What do you think people who already have what you want do differently than you?” Then, from there, we design the steps that we can take to get there.
Another part of the problem with being overextended is that we need to put aside the feeling that asking for help is a personal failure. This is a faulty premise. We are all dependent on others all of the time. We are just so used to it we forget about it. We are dependent on the electricity that allows our lights to turn on and keep our refrigerators cool. We are dependent on the farmers that grow our vegetables and the stores that sell them. We are dependent on the oil companies that provide fuel for our cars. We are dependent on a thousand small things that we use every day, yet we do not feel guilty about those dependencies. Why is asking for help for less routine challenges any different? It is not, we just have been taught to perceive it differently. The truth about asking for help from another is that energetically speaking, it empowers you both. Your assumption that another can help helps you both rise to the occasion. Think of dependency as creating a web of energy that makes both the giver and receiver stronger.
Another problem with asking for help is we become scared that if we ask another to help us, they will not do it well and it will take twice the time. It just seems like too much effort with too little return. Often, this sentiment is probably true- in the short term. The problem with this, especially if it involves a child, is that no one learns or grows and things will always get worse, not better in the scenario. If you see your child as incapable, they will begin to see themselves as incapable. As a parent I know I often fall into this trap. I am terrified that if I allow them to do the laundry, we will all be wearing pink clothing. But, if I look back at my own life, I know there were times where I did ruin a load of laundry and my family certainly had to endure many overcooked or burned meals. Usually I found when I made the mistake once, I did not make the same mistake again. By granting your support group the charity of a poorly done project from time to time, you will eventually get to the point where those things are no longer issues. But you will never get there if you do not stop and take the time to ask for the help and to teach them what to do..
Most importantly, energetically speaking “perfect pictures” set us up for misery. When we want everything to be “just right” we often miss the life that is right in front of us. When we get lost in the picture in our head of how life should be we set ourselves up to miss the joy in the moment. When we invite in help we sometimes have to make an effort to let go of those “perfect pictures” and find joy in the scenario that actually gets created. Not everyone is going to think the outcome should look and be just like the picture in your head. The more you allow your picture to be flexible, and accept the help that you are given, the more your energy moves into present time. By keeping yourself in present time you can actually become more effective and even possibly get more done. The more we practice asking for help and teach our support system how to help us, the easier and more peaceful our lives will become.
The HOW TO with Kim Mazzella is a weekly column featuring Kim's expert life coaching tips for the modern woman navigating entrepreneurship, motherhood, work-life balance, and more!
ABOUT KIM MAZZELLA:
Kim Mazzella, founder of the Life Guidance Center, is a Healer, Teacher, Spiritual Coach and Writer. Her work is based in the belief that our natural state is health and wholeness. Her job is to help those she works with remove the blocks that they have placed in the way of the free flow of energy and healing. She integrates the knowledge from her study of A Course in Miracles and universal laws with her study of massage and understanding of the body’s energy system to create a holistic approach to healing and change.