Your life is not a do-it-yourself project.

Your life is not a do-it-yourself project.

3 ways you can have more support in your life.

‘I have nobody to rely on’, ‘ there is no one to take care of my business’, I often hear these words from many of my clients who find life challenging because they feel they are on their own. They feel isolated and lonely, even though on the surface, life is normal with work colleagues, partners, friends, family or kids. But deep inside there is a sense of disconnection, a sense that they have to do everything by themselves. Life seems to be a Do-It-Yourself Project for them.

Some of us are wearing an invisible cape and roaming the earth as superwomen, responding to any crisis where we might be required. Everyone would know how reliable you are and can expect top-notch help from you anytime. While everything may appear calm and controlled on the surface, inside you might be emotionally overwhelmed, tired, moody and even resentful when someone asks for help.

When you are feeling like the whole world rests on your shoulders and the only person who can carry it, is you, then is it any wonder that all that pressure takes its toll on the physical body and you find your self with tensed shoulders, bad back and many minor aches and pains. These are very common symptoms especially in women who are managing work and family life at the same time.

The key to change this around is to stop feeling responsible for doing everything in your life. It’s like you are running an organization and have appointed yourself the CEO, manager, the accounts department and every other department available in that organization. There’s no vacancy for anyone else. Once you stop taking on all the responsibility, you’ll realize something wonderful happens – the world does not crumble and it still turns! So here are 3 ways, you can stop life from being a do-it-yourself project:

1.      Learn to say “NO”:

Deep inside of all of us we have a desire to be loved and appreciated. We manage high-pressure businesses, take time out for our friends and would do anything someone asks from us simply because we want to be appreciated for who we are. Most of us do not want to disappoint other people. We believe that as long as we are doing good for others they will continue to love us. The minute that we stop carrying out what people want from us, they will no longer love us. We’ve based our worth on the amount of things we get done for others. Most of us are afraid that if we truly speak our minds then people will judge us for it. It’s often far easier to repress our feelings than open them up to public view. This is why standing up for yourself and learning to say no, requires that you embrace courage. Courage allows you to not only gain strength and be powerful, but also be open and honest with yourself and others. It’s the way to live wholeheartedly where you can express what you truly feel. When you cultivate courage, you allow yourself to be seen, heard, and valued.

2.         Ask for support:

In my work with over thousands of people, I’ve noticed a particular pattern in most of do-it-self people. I’ve seen that it’s not that help isn’t available but instead, they find it very difficult asking others for support. It’s almost like there is an invisible wall around us that holds us in even if we want to reach out to someone else. So while, they might be complaining about how hard it is for them to deal with things on their own, in reality, it’s really them who is carrying a broken phone, that cannot receive anything. This receiver is broken for all the valid reasons. Our past experiences have shaped us and many have learnt through these experiences that we will not get any help. So most people automatically assume that they won’t get help and therefore don’t even ask for it. It’s almost like people are stuck in a perpetual cycle where they don’t ask and therefore never receive then validate themselves on how no body wanted to help out. The truth is unless you won’t ask for support, you won’t get it. Once people open up and ask for support, usually you’ll find help and even the right person will show up at the right time.
There might be fear around it but if you can get yourself used to asking for support, you can begin with some small ones then building up to more profound ones, you’ll begin to realize that it’s something that will help you thrive.

3.      Build your support team:

I absolutely love the power of teams. I’m a huge fan of acronyms and I believe team is short for together everyone achieves miracles. I have witness my own life change as a result of tapping into the collective power of teams. It’s like this story I heard long time back. There are 2 brothers who are always disagreeing on everything and never offer any support to one another. One day, their grandfather weary of their behaviour decides to take them to the woods nearby. He hands each of them a single small twig and instructs them to break it. Feeling clever the boys break the twig easily. The grandfather slowly keeps increasing the twigs and asking them to break it. Once the boys are holding a bundle, neither one of them was able to break the bundle. So their grandfather explained to them that when we are alone, it’s very easy to feel weak and break but when we are in a group, standing by one another, our strength increases and nothing can break through. The reality is that we weren’t really designed to do things alone and being in loving and supportive teams actually strengthens us. Strong women do not break other women down but rather help build them up. You’ll find so much relief that you do not have to spend your life doing things alone. Now when I say team, I don’t mean you have to suddenly go and hire lots of people as your employees but rather spend time with people who have the same aspirations and goals as you.
Just the knowing that I don’t have to do it alone and I have people who have my back, makes me feel safe to overcome my fears and fulfil my life’s purpose. When you recognize that there’s no such thing as DIY success, you can begin actively cultivating the ideal relationships to support you as you move forward towards fulfilling your own goals in life.

Sidra Jafri