Do what you do best, and delegate the rest.
Recently in a Facebook group I lead, a member posted what was meant to be a funny meme but turned into an interesting discussion on possibly the biggest roadblock to we, as women, face. Here was the question-
Which is the HARDEST for you to say?
- I love you
- I was wrong
- I need help
- Worcestershire Sauce
- I appreciate you
As the comments started pouring in, there were an astounding number of 3’s. Like, most of the answers. Either no one else struggles with Worcestershire Sauce like I do, or we have a real problem here. Apparently, there are a whole lot of us out there struggling and trying to accomplish everything ourselves for a lot of reasons. I’ll get to that in a second but first I want to tell you about how I learned (the hard way) to delegate.
Picture it- December 22, 2016 (I just said that in my best Sophia from the Golden Girls voice.) BB, my dear husband and I, were off to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary with a flying trip to a town an hour away to grab a bite to eat and purchase all our children’s Christmas gifts. 2016 was an incredibly busy, transformative year for our business and family and I had been too stressed, overworked, and distracted to even start my Christmas shopping yet. At our first stop, I hopped out of the car to move a cart from the parking spot and completely lost control of my body from the waist down. Spontaneous paralysis.
It was as crazy as it sounds and would have made for an excellent episode of the old tv show Mystery Diagnosis . I ended up spending Christmas that year in the Neuro ICU at University Hospital with a lot of time to lay around and think. Also, I watched A Christmas Story on repeat alone in the hospital bed on Christmas Eve and now don’t ever care to watch it again! While I learned a lot from that experience, one of the first things I learned was how to ask for help. In the beginning it was for basic things like help getting a shower or something to eat, but in the long run it was more like help to keep me from getting overrun and overwhelmed with tasks that could be easily and usually joyfully performed by someone else.
The first thing I did when I was able to return to work about 3 weeks later was to write the phrase “Do what you do best, and delegate the rest” at the top of the whiteboard in my office and I have been working to asking for help when I need it ever since.
Ok- back to the group discussion. As I saw the 3’s pouring in, I commented and asked why asking for help was such a struggle for so many. Here are some of the answers I got:
“I feel so helpless when I ask for help.”
“It’s easier to just do it myself than take the time to explain what needs to be done.”
“I will die trying to look like I can handle everything myself.”
“It makes me feel small or incompetent.”
“I like to pretend I have it all together.”
Now, I want to ask you a question, dear reader. How do you feel when someone asks you for help? Do you feel the person requesting help is needy, helpless, incompetent, or ‘less than’ for having the bravery to reach out and ask? No, right?
Often, when someone asks me for help, I feel honored. Important. Privileged. Dare I say, I even sometimes feel warm and fuzzy in my heart. Being sincerely asked to help someone makes me feel good, and I’d be willing to bet you sometimes feel the very same thing. So, here’s where we have to make the connection; being willing to ask for help and knowing how good it feels to be asked. When you ask for help, you’re doing someone a favor- giving them the honor of helping you.
I still struggle occasionally with my “I can do anything and do it better, faster, easier myself,” but the truth of the matter is delegation has decreased stress, grown my business, strengthened my family life, and kept me out of the hospital for nearly three years now (knock on wood.)
What are you holding on to today that you could release to someone else who is ready and willing to help?
She, confident in her skillset, learned that asking for help did not make her ‘less than’ but helped make others ‘more.’
Can I ask you for a little help, reader? If you like what you see- please share my blog on your social media networks or email them to a friend who may need a boost of confidence. Sharing is caring! Just click the share buttons and away you go! xo, Mindy