To the outside world, you have it all. Successful career. Beautiful home. Loving family.
But inside, you feel exhausted. You feel overworked, undervalued & lost; wondering HOW did I get here? Is this really all that life is?
But you tell yourself you’re resilient. You’ve faced challenges before. What you need is a holiday.
So you carry on as if nothing has changed & count down the days until you go away, desperately hoping that when you get back your energy and motivation will return. And you’ll be back to your old self again.
And you DO have a great start to your holiday. It’s all lazy mornings & mojitos by the pool. The hardest decision you have to make is which restaurant to try and which wine to enjoy after a sun-soaked day.
You manage to discipline yourself & avoid checking your emails until about day 5. An urgent email alert pops up and you can’t help but have a quick peek.
You feel the anger start to bubble up, because the “URGENT” is Sarah in the office reporting her mug’s been stolen from the kitchen. What?! But it’s too late. Your inbox is open & you start noticing other emails.
Your brain is back in work mode – and you’re back to feeling stressed and frustrated, because some of the actions you were expecting to happen while you were away haven’t been done…
So you get back from holiday and everyone asks “how was it?”. And you reply in an automatic way “Yes, great thanks. Really relaxing and just what I needed”. But inside you’re really saying “It was great that I got away from you lot at work. And thanks for all the work you put in whilst I was away, to make my life easier when I got back. NOT!”
Within a few days of being back, you realise NOTHING has changed. You feel exactly the same. You’re back to being utterly consumed by everything you have to do; all the work that’s built up and now there’s a whole new wave of problems you now have to deal with.
You get home every night and go straight for a glass of wine, hoping to rekindle some of your memories & feelings from your holiday.
Sadly, the feeling only seems to come after 3 or 4 glasses. By which time, you’re asleep in front of Netflix, only to jar yourself awake at 1am with a crick in your neck.
At this point, your family is starting to notice a change in you. You’re getting home later & later, more & more miserable. You’re moaning about work. You start skipping your usual gym class and are pretty much asleep before EastEnders has finished. The only person now pleased to see you is the dog.
So what are you are going to do now?
- You tell yourself you can’t leave your job, because your family needs the security of your salary.
- You could talk to your boss – but you worry it’ll show up as weakness (and they might think you’re not up to the job).
- You could talk to your close family or friends – but you don’t want to burden them with all your problems.
- You could read some self-help books – but you haven’t got time.
For you, the most scary option is NOT quitting your job, or talking to your boss – but saying those 4 little words, “I need your help.”
And as the pressure mounts, the fear of asking for help creates even more anxiety and irrational thinking:
- You start worrying about what others might think of you.
- You get nervous at the thought of failing.
- You start believing you might not be capable.
- You feel stressed about appearing imperfect.
- You feel vulnerable, anxious and exposed as a fraud.
The fear has now hijacked you – and it’s no wonder you’re now feeling like a failure! Your mind has shut down the logical executive functions of the brain and the emotional regulation is overloaded. So now, you’re at breaking point.
So how DO you overcome the fear of asking for help?
You are not alone. If you’re a natural carer & giver, then asking for help does not come easily.
But with practice and learning to frame it in different ways, asking for help COULD be your life-saver. And you will become an even better leader along the way.
Here’s the 3 Steps you Need to Know…
Step 1 – Get Honest
First of all, you need to be honest with yourself. It’s all about fighting the enemy within and seeing through the triggers that are causing your fear.
What is it that you are afraid of? Ask yourself – is it worth the suffering to your health and wellbeing, by holding on to a belief that you KNOW deep down is not true?
There are plenty of things that you hate doing. So why not start by off-loading some of those things? And let people who enjoy doing those things help you out? (And yes – however much YOU hate it, there will be someone out there who loves it!). Think about tapping into the resources already available to you & the people that are crying out to help you.
Step 2 – Get Input & Ideas
Try asking your team for their input and ideas. Praise them for their skills and show them that you trust their ideas. We all want to feel like we matter at work – and asking for help in this way shows you to be a great leader. You’ll also find it gives you wider insights and brings back your ability to see the bigger picture.
Step 3 – Ask Yourself What’s Missing?
This is perhaps the hardest step – but take a long, deep look inwards. What’s missing in your life? If you just don’t enjoy your work any more – or have lost your purpose or passion – then you might want to explore adding in a new dimension to your life that will give you a sense of purpose such as getting involved with a charity, or starting a new hobby. Or you may want consider a complete change of career or start your own business.
You may be struggling to pinpoint what is “missing” and that is where asking a coach for help comes in. They can support you to find what is missing and help you make a plan to get back on track.
Please know that if this story resonates with you, you truly are not alone. I’m speaking from personal experience. And I KNOW the difference it would have made to me, if I had asked for help sooner.
I wish I had.
My name is Evelyn. If you want to talk through your situation with me (in complete confidence, of course) then just text the words “I need your help” to 07753612427.
There IS a way through this. You CAN ask for help & you WILL get the support you need to find happiness again. Sometimes, you just need to take the first step…
Until next time