It’s an irony of life that the place in which we are able to help others transform is the place where we often get stuck and need to seek help.
Somehow, our gifts don’t seem to work their magic when directed at ourselves in quite the same way as when we use them in the service of helping others. I suppose this is by design: it’s the Universe’s way of ensuring that we share our gifts and that we learn to rely on others for help. Humans are designed to thrive in community. Nobody can do it alone.
Our recognition of this truth is a crucial first step towards getting traction when we feel stuck. It’s so easy to get caught up in the trap of “I’ve got this.”
I don’t need to reach out for help on this because this is my area of expertise. People come to me for this help. People pay me a lot of money to help them through this exact situation. I can help myself. I’ve got this.
I’ve got this.
It might be one of the biggest lies we tell ourselves.
If we feel the need to announce – to ourselves or others – that “I’ve got this,” then the likelihood is that, on some level, we don’t “got this.” If I’ve really “got this” then I’m just rolling along and doing it. I’m not telling myself that “I’ve got this.”
Repetition creates belief
Hear something repeated enough times, and eventually you’ll start to believe it. It’s the science of conditioning. In physical actions, repetition is the mother of skill. In mindset work, repetition is the mother of belief. This is the basic principle behind affirmations.
“I’ve got this” is the affirmation for the high achiever.
Eventually we start to believe this is true. We suppress our doubts under a mask of bravado and fool ourselves into the belief that “I’ve got this” even when we don’t. On first blush, you might wonder: what’s wrong with that? Isn’t bravery what we’re going for? Isn’t it crucial to develop mental toughness and an ability to handle everything?
Sure. In the right moments. But this isn’t bravery. This isn’t toughness. The mask of “I’ve got this” is suit of armor that keeps people away and blocks true connection, learning and growth Read Full Report.
We wear the mask of “I’ve got this” and the suit of armor of powering through to hide what’s really going on: Fear.
We lie to ourselves because we are afraid. We fear what it will mean if we ask for help, especially if the help we seek is in an area where we are the “expert.”
People pay me for my guidance through the very same situation. What does it mean if I ask someone else for help in this area?
What does it mean?
We love to ask this question. Of what use is anything in life if we don’t know what it means. Right?
So, what does it mean if we reach out to ask for help?
Does it mean you are suddenly incapable of helping others? Does it mean that you are less qualified to offer advice than you were before you asked for help? Does it mean everything you have learned before or everything you know is suddenly wrong? Does it mean that you cannot help yourself, and therefore have no business guiding others?
Perhaps. But only if you give it those meanings.
When we cling tight to “I’ve got this” and resist asking for, or accepting, help from others, we are reinforcing the story that to acknowledge “I don’t have this” means that we are somehow deficient.
In my own experience, this approach has not served me very well. It might feel brave in the short term, but it’s anything but brave.
Sit with this for a moment as you reflect on your own experiences. Where in your life are you clinging tight to the mantra of “I’ve got this” and how is it serving you?
What else could it mean when we ask for help, even in an area where we are the go-to resource for others?
Perhaps it means that you have enough self-awareness to know your limits when it comes to applying your best work to yourself.
We can take ourselves only to a certain point before we need someone else to help us work through the rest. The admonition of “physician, heal thyself” is a good place to start, yet even the best surgeon can’t perform surgery on herself.
Perhaps it means that you are congruent with the advice you offer – especially to those who seek your help.
It’s easy to tell others that they should seek a guide (you) in navigating the murky waters that sometimes flood our path. But until you are willing to make that investment in yourself, until you are willing to trust in someone else to guide you through the backroads of your own journey, your words will ring hollow.
Perhaps it means that you are willing acknowledge that there is always more to learn. The danger in being an “expert” is that experts believe that they already know the answers. The moment you think you know, your brain shuts off to learning anything new. Seeking help allows us to be open to the truth that there is always new distinctions and new approaches that can enhance what we offer others.
Perhaps it means that you’re human.
The human experience is not meant to be solitary. When we are willing to raise our hands and admit, “I don’t have this, and I need some help,” we open ourselves to the gifts of human connection, and to the growth and learning that come from those connections.
Consider these alternate meanings in light of your own experiences? How might these serve you differently than the first group of meanings?
What if “I’ve got this” is the limiting belief that has been holding you back? What if the secret to your becoming who you are meant to be lied not in pushing through on your own and showing how tough you are, but rather in your willingness to reach out for help?
What might change when you allow someone else to hold space for your process in the way that you hold space for so many others?
What might you learn? What new insights might you gain, both about yourself and about methods that work that you can incorporate into your own teachings?
Most crucially, who might you become?
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