why asking for help makes you stronger

by rebecca on October 18, 2012

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Many people who suffer with clutter come to me for coaching thinking I’ll have the magic system that will make all their troubles disappear. This is not how it works. No system of mine will work for you. This is good.

The reason half of my soulful cleansing philosophy revolves around the stillness of observation (identify and notice) is because the only system that will work for each of us is one that grows organically out of our unique patterns.

I’ve taken time to identify my core problem: I need to finish.

I slowly noticed patterns that hinder me:

  • I am easily distracted
  • It’s difficult for me to settle and concentrate
  • I begin more than I can physically finish

Now it’s time to create a system of my own. I call this phase Addressing the Mess.

The worst thing I could do is work against my organic nature.

I have a cupboard filled with pinecones, stones, seashells, berries and quotes. I use these found items from my walks and vacations to decorate my dining room table. On the surface, this seems like a huge time waster, but it is soothing to me and calms my temper when I want to scream at my kids.

I have dozens of pockets like this in my home. Ideas are constantly started, then abandoned. I thought I was a true loser until I read Barbara Sher’s book, Refuse to Choose. Once I embraced the idea that I was a scanner, I simply made generating and abandoning ideas part of my overall system.

Then I noticed patterns that serve me:

  • I identified times of high productivity
  • People and deadlines help me focus

So I focused my tasks to specific times in the day or week and then I connected with lots of people to get me focused.

Get an Accountability Partner

The absolute best help I got came several years ago when I began casually trading emails with Yvette. Initially we talked on the phone weekly, but our busy lives don’t allow for that now. (More on why this is great and how it works tomorrow).

Hire Help

This year I hired 2 people (pictures coming!) to come into my home and help me. Now I have cleaning help 2 hours twice a month and help shaping my garden at least monthly if not twice monthly.

It is the regularity of the help that has been so sustaining to me. Now I know that every other Tuesday I have cleaning/gardening on my calendar and I can’t postpone because helping hands are arriving in my driveway. This date with someone else allows me to take the care of my abode so much more seriously. As a result I feel nurtured body and soul. It’s been foundational to the rest of my being. Why did I resist so long?

Identify a Project, Identify a Person

I have a zillion projects I want to achieve. As I mentioned I start them all. Finishing them is where I fail. So I locate people who’ve succeeded at the things I want to do. Sometimes all it takes is asking them if they will be my friend on the phone while I hook up my TimeTrade, like Sonya did for me.

Take a Class

I’ve been taking Pam Slim’s class, Power Boost Marketing, all year. It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself in 2012. I started the class feeling like an imbecile because the caliber of people was so high. I felt like everyone else knew what he or she was doing and I was the dork.

But I’ve likened my experience to when I was young and dancing ballet in the back row while my sister, who now owns a dance company, was the star student in the front row. “I am so terrible at this,” I’d complain to my sister after class.

“You are so lucky,” she’d say to me like the kind big sister she is. “In the front row I’m not learning. I’m just a showpiece. You are growing every day, becoming more of who you are.”

When I put myself with the Big Kids, those who are running faster, climbing higher and posting things on facebook with more alacrity than I am, I am learning. I may feel dumb while I’m doing it, but I am comforted that I am becoming more of myself in the process.

As I look back, I feel uber stretched because I’ve started 10 times more this year than ever before. But, guess what? I’ve also finished so much more this year as well. That’s what happens when we work inside our strength, and team up to get help.

When have you surrendered to your strengths, even if it made you feel dumb? What gets in your way of asking for help? What class did you take this year that made a difference?


I am taking time to address my mess. It’s part of my 4-step philosophy in Soulful Cleansing. Identify – Notice – Address – Tend.  I’d love to have you join the class.

I am participating in 31-days of Soulful Cleansing. This project is the collaborative brainchild of The Nester. Join her here and see all the other 31-day projects.


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