While working out the other day, I was watching one of those reality TV shows where a business owner asks a rich businessman to help save the business. The show is basically the process the two go through to transform the business to get back on track and succeeding.
Not every episode ends up as a success story.
In this one, the business owner could not accept the help offered. It resonated with me because I recently had an insight into the times where I could not accept help either.
It surprised me to realize I was rejecting help because I have always like to help others, and contributing makes me feel good. So why would I not let others have the chance to contribute to me and have the experience of feeling good too?
I felt kind of badly when I considered the fact that by not accepting help, I could be inadvertently, or unconsciously hurting other’s feelings, not to mention blocking my own ability to move forward. I certainly never intended my self sufficiency to hurt others or myself!
To make an effort to shift this habit, I reached out to someone who has offered to help me in the past, but I did not follow through with accepting the help. Interestingly, about 3 days after asking for help, I recanted my request, justifying to myself, “I don’t really need the help. I can do this.”
Now THAT really hurt the feelings of the other person.
What was more interesting, is that I then had a total freak out of anxiety. At dinner, my husband could tell I was really upset, and when he asked me what was wrong, I blurted out, “I don’t want to f___ this up!” He was shocked and baffled by my outburst. I was too. Where was this coming from???
After calming down, and realizing something deeper was happening here, I asked myself this question:
What does ‘accepting help’ mean about you as a person?
My Basic Self (inner child/subconscious mind) said, “We can’t ask for help because that means we are a failure.” At the same time, I was flashed a memory of asking my mom for help me with something. In her desire to help me be self sufficient, she told me to figure it out myself by reading the dictionary. Well, as a little kid, if you don’t yet have the capacity to spell, you can’t use the dictionary! So instead of finding out my answer, my Basic Self innocently, but erroneously concluded, "If I am ignorant about something, I don’t get to be helped, nor get to have the answer. I must be a failure." And given that little kids want to please the parents and to be praised for success, my Basic Self decided to hide anywhere I might need help, for it would mean others would see me "as a failure and won’t love us anymore."
Good grief! On the one hand I was glad to know what was going on in my Basic Self/subconscious mind, yet at the same time, I felt this huge sorrow for my Basic Self back then, and for my mom not knowing my little kid was making up this reality about her worth and her world view on life. This isn’t about bashing parents in anyway. I can see she was probably really busy, and tried to encourage me to be curious and solve the problem myself. The only thing I could fault her for was thinking I was more precocious than I was at that age!
The point is that the Basic Self makes irrational interpretations about ourselves and life around us and ascribes these “meanings” to experiences which then become unconscious foundational beliefs, which then drive our actions. So, from the “meaning” my Basic Self made up about that experience, my resulting actions became, “Just do everything yourself. Then you’ll never be seen as a failure, and you’ll never risk losing the love or esteem of someone you care about.”
The good thing is that in understanding my inner communication system, I could pull myself out of the emotionality of this perception that I erroneously believed was truth. And also to recognize this moment was the chance to change that perception to the Truth, which is it is safe to ask for help, receive help and succeed with other’s help! That to ask for help is not a sign of weakness or failure. It’s an opportunity for someone to help you over the hump to keep moving forward.
Subsequently, I reached out to that person again, apologized and humbly shared this aspect of my personality, and assured them that I was working on it. And that I would SO appreciate the help so long as it never impositioned him in anyway. I wanted it to be a win-win, happy experience for both of us. He enthusiastically agreed!
Back to the TV show, having just been through this with my Basic Self, my compassion went out to the business owner who sabotaged all help offered at every turn. I could see her internal belief that it was HER sole responsibility to “make the business work” and that the meaning her Basic Self made up, was that to accept any help meant she was a failure and incapable of keeping her promise to her father to have her business support her mother. In the end, she drove away everyone trying to support her and who truly wanted to help her succeed, which would mean everyone on the team would also succeed, and she’d keep her promise to her father. It wasn’t rational. It was a deeply held belief in her Basic Self, that to please her father, she had to do it all herself.
The bigger cost of these very old, unconscious worldviews we established at such young ages, is that they impact our present life in very real ways. The woman on the TV show had already blown over $1M in her business due to her behaviors sabotaging the success of the business! Beliefs and perceptions can make or break us financially!
If you recognize anything similar in yourself, you don't have to be stuck! Sign up for a coaching session with me, and we can work through it! It's not shameful to ask for help. I shared my example to illustrate that even having all the wisdom I have on consciousness, I can still be surprised by such unconscious beliefs which are affecting my life in ways I never intended.
So that old adage, “It’s better the give than receive,” really isn’t accurate. For it is only through receiving the help offered by others in the places where we are stuck, that we can then grow past those points to where we get the chance to give of ourselves to help others in the world.
Click here to get on my calendar if you would like some help.