Discovering how to ask for help takes you from being a solo act to part of a beautiful collaboration. I call it your “Dream Team” and it’s a powerful way to simplify your life. Just as every instrument in an orchestra plays its part, creating one beautiful, harmonious sound.
You can create this feeling with family, friends, and anyone else you deeply care about. Chances are they too, deeply care for you and desire to support you.
Where do you begin? Start by asking yourself, “What do I need?” Give yourself space to think
about you. Find a journal and a pen. Kick off your shoes and plop into a cozy chair. Toss your head back, relax, and sigh. Then ask yourself, “Where do I need the most support?” “Where am I running around in circles?” “What makes me feel as if I’m running on fumes?” “Where am I feeling drained in mind, body, and soul?”
Simplify Your Life 101- Ask Yourself, “What Do I Need?”
As a mom, wife, writer, and business owner, cooking was a huge challenge. We all want to give our families the healthiest meals, prepared in the least amount of time. That’s why the phrase “What’s for dinner?” took on a life of its own. “How can I create a delicious, 30 minute meal for my family when I work 12 hour days?”
I changed my question to a new one: “How can we create a delicious meal?” Kale is one of my favorite vegetables and my family enjoys it every week. But, peeling and chopping garlic slows me down. I just want to toss it all in the pot, steam, and enjoy. After years of preparing
every meal, my husband handles much of the peeling and chopping. His pieces turn out beautifully and we’re done in half the time. It took years for me to let him do things his way.
I learned overtime, the only way to gain free time is to stop insisting things be done my way. No one wants to hear how I do this and how I do that. You end up right where you started. . . doing everything yourself. So, if you’re tempted, just let it go. You’ll be so much happier
in the long run.
So, what do you need? What activity is slowing you down? Do you need help with shopping for groceries? Are you tired of your weekly walk down the aisles of your local market? I love being in the store, seeing what’s new, but I want help when I’m in there. So, we’ve made shopping a family affair by dividing the list into four parts. We’re done in half the time.
Does running errand 1, 2, and 3 make you feel run down? Is it possible that sharing one of
those errands would relieve stress and allow you to slow down in traffic?
Maybe, just maybe, you could avoid screaming at the driver in front of you. They don’t understand you’ve got 13 minutes to pick up your prescription and you’re 20 minutes late for picking up your kids. When you have to be everywhere at once. . . tension takes over.
Where can you simplify your life? Where are you feeling drained in mind, body, and soul?
Before you ask for help, you’ve got to get clear. Be honest with yourself by making a
list of your needs. Without judgment. There are no silly needs. There are no ridiculous requests. Just open up your heart and write what you need. . . easing your mind, body, and soul.
It would make a world of difference in my day if someone could take care of___________________.
Match Your Needs with Support Loved Ones Can Give
This is where the magic happens. Once you’ve made a list of “What You Need” you match that
list to “Who Could Help.” Your Dream Team! This is your core. Your tribe. . . willing and able to support you.
Let’s go back to errand #2. Is there a neighbor who is heading to the pharmacy and could pick up your prescription? Which member of your family could peel, chop, or assemble veggies for your meal? Which members could set and clear the table? Who could put away leftovers and wash dishes while you enjoy a cup of tea?
Instead of drowning in the day’s details, make a list of loved ones and friends who could
support you. Be careful not to overlook your youngest supporters. . . small children. They relish the idea of being BIG helpers! From putting away socks, to folding (okay rolling) laundry, little people can be a big help. It’s no secret women still do the majority of housework.
Here my friend, is a solution: share the labor, share the love. I live with a house full of men
and my sons have been doing their own laundry since age ten. Do I feel guilty? Not at all. I feel proud. I’m proud to send two young men out into the world, who will not be burdens to their wives. . . but help mates. Men who will give their wives support with cooking, shopping, cleaning, and caring for their children. Men who will leave their wives feeling relaxed and renewed.
So, share the labor and share the love. Your family will take these lessons into their families, making everyone happier and stronger. Equally as important, you will feel as if the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders. You’ll gain physical free time and emotional freedom to do things you love. Do you deserve it? Yes you do. You deserve to have the kindness, love, and support you give to others . . . come back to you.
Write down something you need, who could help, and how it will make you feel:
I need help with__________ and (family, friend) _________could help me.
When I get help with _____________, I’ll feel_____________.
Smile. Did I mention? . . . You deserve it.
In what area of your life could you use more support? Please share your story below:
(Did you miss part 1? Click here: Ask for Help: “Goodbye to the Guilt” of Feeling Weak or Needy)