Last week I had a melt down.
As I looked at the triggers it became clear that I had once more got myself into a situation where I was supporting everyone, and I wasn’t getting the support I needed.
Don’t get me wrong here I have a great supportive team. They are amazing. But I’m probably 6 months late on my most recent hire, and when our new General Manager started on Thursday, and we were bringing her up to speed, it became clear just how much I have been managing solo.
I didn’t want to bother my admin team with stuff because they were so busy, so I was doing it, Greg was so busy, so I didn’t want to put anything on him, so I was doing more… you now how it goes. “I’ll hire a great team, but gee- I don’t want to bug them with the boring tedious things…”
Or maybe that’s just me.
You see I am a reforming S.I.W. Strong Independent Woman. My catch cry was “I can do anything. I don’t need anyone.” I avoid neediness like the plague.
This drive to avoid neediness is rife in so many women I coach and mentor. Strong and successful they have often got there on their own. Sure, they may have a team, but ultimately they will do anything to avoid being an imposition
At the core of it… many strong women see receiving as a sign of weakness.
Let me be straight here- there’s still a SIW-streak in me who (illogically) thinks that if I were to actually have someone else buy my groceries then I’m a failure as a woman.
(If you can relate to this, you might really benefit from a live 1-day training I’m doing in London in May called “Make the Leap”. Details here)
So, anyway, this week has gotten me to thinking about receiving.
The Art of Receiving.
Graciousness is a key quality of the Queen. She’s one of the 5 Women’s Power Archetypes we use in our work at One of Many.
Now, when I say “Queen” there’s not a one among us who would doubt the strength of that archetype. She is strong, powerful, immense.
Yet- she is exquisite at receiving.
When the explorer kneels at her feet and lays down the rare and exotic fruit he brings back from his travels, she doesn’t say “Oh, no, no I couldn’t’ possibly.” She says, “Why thank you. It is beautiful, and I look forward to tasting it. Congratulations on bringing it so far.”
The explorer NEEDS her to receive the gift.
Her gracious receiving is a gift to him.
In fact this receiving actually sets up a cycle of energy (or flow).
The act of receiving graciously is, too, a gift. (Tweet this)
Let’s look at it another way.
For most successful women, we are aware we need to “get help”. We may catch ourselves thinking:
- “I need to hire a new PA”
- “I should ask Michelle to help me update my resume”
- “It’s time I got a regular cleaner”
- “We need a new customer service manager”
- “I should ask my sister if she could pick the kids up and take care of them after school once a week.”
But in my experience the thought rarely gets activated. And even if it does, it often doesn’t work out as well as it could because as women we are not taught to receive.
So your sister picks up the kids once or twice, but because you’re doubting your worthiness to be supported in this way, you find someway to sabotage the arrangement.
You hire a PA, then after 3 months your old “I don’t want to bother her with this piece, I’ll just do it” kicks in (oh yes- I’ve done this many times!)
Instead of turning such delicious opportunities into power trips or ego struggles, we need to consciously receive.
Here’s my recipe for making sure that getting support actually WORKS OUT.
- Recognise that you being supported is fundamental to the success of your business, family and/or community. There’s a lot at stake here. What you provide is necessary. Your wellbeing is a must, not a nice to have.
- Step into your Queen archetype with your ‘support team’ (whether it’s your spouse, sis, PA, cleaner, your date, accountant or the grocery delivery guy).
- When someone helps you out, see it as a gift. Sure they may be getting paid, but if you see the gift in everything, it activates great receiving.
- Receive graciously and let people know they are needed.
How to Receive Graciously.
Here’s a little template you can follow to receive well:
- Express gratitude for the gift
– “Thankyou so much for…”
- Future pace its use
– “I’m going to give this pride of place on the mantelpiece.”
– “Next time I’m feeling exhausted I’m going to remember that comment and feel better.”
– “That has saved me about 5 hours of running in circles.”
- Express how it makes you feel
– “I feel really honored/relieved/loved/appreciated/taken care of.”
– “You saved my life!” (My husband’s personal favourite!)
Sure a simple thank you can be enough. But I find that going a little further has people feel needed, and deeply appreciated. This is the gift for them.
So the next time the grocery delivery guy turns up on your doorstep, why not give him a gift.
“Thank you so much for bringing these. That drive through the countryside in the dark and fog just saved me 2 hours, which I get to spend with my family instead. It’s your job, I know, but it makes the world of difference for me and them. Thanks. Oh, and yes… bring them through to the kitchen, please.”
Maybe I’m mad. But I notice the more conscious I get and the better I am at receiving, the more opportunity comes my way.
Let me know how you get on! And if you’re up for growing in your ability to receive and be supported in your mission, it might be time to Make the Leap. I’m running a live training in London on the 20th of May. Check out the details here.
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