I am standing on a wobbly, one-legged chair with a wide footing. Its seating is torn up. Basically, a few threads held together on the edges. In the last five years, I have stood on it probably 219 times to unhook the cloth line to reel it in.
I have never lost my balance. I trust I won’t lose it this time either.
Only, today I feel exhausted and I am distracted as I look to the right at a fascinating, exotic bird.
I lose my balance to the left. I fall on the concrete patio. Fortunately, my instincts help me to keep my head and wrists safe. But the rest of my body is not so happy.
I lay on the concrete patio for a couple of seconds, before I manage to get up.
I can barely walk. My hip feels incredibly sore, my knee seems bruised, and my ankle can hardly carry my weight.
I know I need to ask my husband for help. He is a miracle healer of sorts, and I know he can support.
But I don’t want to ask for help. I feel ashamed of my stupidity for being distracted and I struggle with familiar, habitual thoughts that are screaming in my head “I am such a clumsy idiot!”
I feel too embarrassed to take the risk that he will blame or shame me for what I believe is true. Even though I know he won’t, I don’t have the mental and emotional resources and will take even the slightest raising of an eyebrow personally.
I rather hide in my study and suffer in silence.
That is certainly what I would have done in the past.
But this time I remember how much worse bad situations became as a result of silencing and hiding my need for support.
Being the hero he is, he neither blames or shames me. Not even the lifting of an eyebrow. He immediately puts me on the couch and brings me icepacks and blankets. Even a stuffed animal.
I feel relieved.
And I wonder how many others have learned all too well to toughing it out, rather than vulnerably asking for help.
Maybe I am not the only one who would love acceptance of their struggles.
Or feeling overwhelmed trying to get everything done on their to-do list, slugging through 7:00 am-9:00 pm?
Maybe others also have a sense that they are responsible for everything.
And I bet I am not the only one who does so much better working in a supportive environment of trust and honesty.
And just like me, we all can learn to ask for help. Even when we are the cause of our own pain and suffering.
And you don’t need to hit the concrete patio to do so. It’s easier:
Join my free webinar “Effective Communication for Nonprofit Leaders”.
- Learn the five biggest mistakes when making requests
- See how a vegan gets the best dish in a steakhouse
- Shift your paradigm about requests and see them as strengths, not weaknesses
- Understand what Santa Claus has to do with getting help
- Connect with peers and inspire each other
- Memorize ten magic words for constructive requests
As a result, you will be more confident that you can create the collaboration you want, inspire others to support your cause and goals, and transform conflict into collaboration.
Tuesday, April 28, at 8:00-9:00 am. Maximum nine nonprofit leaders.
Contact me with any questions. I am here to support you.
Or sign up here.
All the best,
Elly van Laar
Coach for Nonprofit Leaders