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Girl, accept the help!

“No, it’s okay, I can do it.”

I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve uttered those words. I also can’t count how many times another woman has said those words to me and I sat back and let them do the heavy lifting when I knew I should step in and lighten their load with but didn’t want to disrespect their wishes.

It’s a painful crossroad women share the experience of. I’m sure you can recall far too many times when you’ve rejected help that you could have truly used and experienced the other end of the spectrum of being a bystander to another woman forcing herself to push through her discomfort just because it’s what we think is the polite thing to do.

Women are nurtured at an extremely early age to put others needs above their own, more so than men. Why? Because throughout history, women have naturally taken on the role of nurturing our families while men would be off taking action on providing for the family. Nurturing requires commitment to prioritizing your family’s wants and needs. Nurturing our families and loved ones is a wonderful selfless practice that ensures the core values, characteristics and behaviors of those closest to us are nourished optimally. Thankfully this benefits us directly and indirectly. When our loved ones, whom we look after thrive, we have more opportunity to thrive with them in harmony and the world becomes a better place through our actions too (happier, caring, and positive people are people we can all agree we like to see more of in society) so getting to see our hard work pay off in the long run is great!

But at what point does our learned behavior as women, putting others wants & needs before ourselves, becomes a toxic habit? When did the lens of taking care of others and looking after ourselves get so blurry? And more so, why is trying to break the habit filled with so much guilt?

I truly believe women are power houses. Super woman ain’t got nothing on us. I mean for real! The multi tasking, the speed, the agility, the natural resilience of women can not be compared to anything or anyone else in this world. Tell me a modern day woman can keep NYC running all on her own via treadmill and I wouldn’t bat an eye. Seriously, we are such incredible creatures! But too often, we take on the burden of holding the entire team on our back instead of openly accepting or dare I even say it (ask someone for help) GASP!

I caught myself last night doing it. I was in the bathroom blow drying my hair while my husband got our daughter, Persephone, ready for bed and about 1/2 through, I kept thinking, “I’m so selfish for blowing my hair out. I should just let it air dry and put the baby down myself so he can relax.” I literally stopped my train of thought and immediately redirected that thought down a different track.

My new Avenue of thinking put myself back in the picture, as a human being, who deserves time to herself, practices that help me feel my best and asks those around me to shift some of the weight of “to do” off of my shoulders because sometimes, that’s what I truly deserve. Instead of saying, “I should drop everything I’m doing right now to go be super mom.” I changed my thought process to a confident, “My husbands got this. He knows how important it is for me to do my hair. He knows it makes me feel good. He is more than equipped and capable of handling this task. And I am more than willing to surrender to his help and take this time for me.”

I felt A LOT better after I adopted this mindset and shifted away from my natural learned behavior of “I’ll take care of it so you don’t have to be uncomfortable!” But I won’t lie to you, it wasn’t easy.

Changing our learned behaviors that we have clung to (basically our entire lives) is a process-a process that takes time to reverse, but just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it isn’t worth pursuing. My recommendation is to consider three things before throwing all the weight on your back:

  1. Ask yourself: is this a task that I and I alone can/should do? Or is there anyone else that I can ask to help me? (Keep in mind that this question doesn’t regard how you like things done! Sometimes “if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself” has no place in our moments of relief).
  2. Is someone offering to extend a helping hand to me? If so, am I subconsciously pushing them away because I don’t want others to think I’m inadequate? (Accepting help is an act of self-love! It does not make you weak and anyone who thinks so is silently suffering based on this limiting belief).
  3. How can accepting help in this moment positively affect those closest to me? (Reframing your thought process from “I’m being selfish” to “this is a win-win for everyone” can encourage you to put yourself first in situations when you’re unsure of what to do. When you invest your energy wisely, you can further invest it in different actions that can benefit other people directly/indirectly!).

While women will most likely always be given the great power of nourishing our loved ones, remember what Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. It’s up to YOU to put yourself in the drivers seat of how you approach circumstances when things start to get hot in the kitchen. You can either let the flames engulf you and suffer or you can ask/accept then fire extinguisher from someone else!

I think you look much better without all those self-inflicted burns. Plus your hair looks so much more moisturized 😉

Keep fighting for you. You’re worth it.

Xx,

Coach Elena

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