Now my challenge to you is to think about the area(s) in your life where this quote might apply. For some, the list is long.
For many years I considered myself a single independent woman and asking for help was a sign of weakness. It suggested that I couldn’t do it on my own, which I was convinced I could…and do it successfully, might I add. If you weren’t my mother, the likelihood of me asking you for anything was fairly slim. I didn’t even ask my father because his response was always in the form of a lecture, as if he’d missed his calling of being a college professor.
I graduated from high school when I was 16 and went straight to college at 17. I probably should have given some thought to taking a gap year like Malia Obama, but I knew nothing about that option at the time. I then joined the Army Reserves after my freshman year. My parents retired and moved south, but I decided to stay behind in New York. With that said, I have been on my own since I was 18 going on 19. My daughter was born 6 months before I turned 20.
I could go on and on with this story, but my point is this…my early adult years were challenging in more ways than one. I remember looking at disconnection notices and trying to figure out how to make a dollar out of 15 cents. The struggle was indeed real. I dare not ask for help, though, because that would have taken away from the strong young woman I was…right?
How did I go from such a challenging start in my late teen years to becoming The Virtual Six-Figure Mom?
I asked for help! I asked my boss for the level of work-life-balance I desperately needed with a sick father and a behaviorally challenged daughter. I was a solid performer in my role who was committed to continuing to contribute to the growth of the team and to do so, I needed to make some time-sensitive adjustments.
Have you asked for the work-life-balance you need? My cousin used to tell me that “nothing beats a try, but a fail.” I always over-analyzed everything to the point where I’d talk myself right out of making a decision to ask for help.
Let me pause for one second to clarify something. I had a great relationship with my boss before I approached her about an opportunity to work from home. I was also a solid member of the team. If you are not giving your current role 100%, please don’t approach your current boss the way I approached mine. You are in the role you’re in now for a reason. Don’t discount it. Give your all until it is time to move on. Why would they trust you to stay focused and be completely present and involved at home if you're not doing it in the office?
This post could go far beyond work-life-balance. Are you asking for help around the house? Are you asking for financial coaching or assistance? Are you asking for support on your journey as a budding entrepreneur? Are you asking for a few minutes of someone’s time just to connect about networking opportunities?
Asking for help is a sign of strength and wisdow. It is okay to ask for the level of work-life-balance you need. I'll leave you with that.
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