I consider myself to be pretty independent, taking pride in all that I have because I’ve worked hard for it.
If you asked those closest to me, they would probably tell you I’m a little too headstrong, preferring to do things myself rather than seek help. I never really considered it like this, thinking instead that I am just successfully self-sufficient. However, in the past year or so, I’ve had to soften to the experience of seeking and accepting help. For the first time, I’m learning to lean on others more than makes me comfortable and to rest easy with accepting help.
Thinking that I’ve been doing a good job with this practice, I was shocked to feel genuine discomfort when I had to ask for help from my boyfriend recently. We’re moving in together, and we have a very solid relationship, so you’d think that asking for a little assistance would be a no-brainer…
However, when it came to having the conversation, my anxiety kicked in big time! My hands were sweaty, my heart was pounding and my breath quickened. I started to cry halfway through the conversation, even though I knew he would be happy to help me without judgment. What I knew rationally to be a safe situation became fraught with feelings of self-judging, shame and guilt — not at the situation, but at myself. In this moment, I realized I was holding a major limiting belief for myself: that I was not a successful or even a good person because I needed someone else’s assistance.
What was at the root of my anxiety? In a perfect world I would happily accept the offerings that come my way. But because of certain situations in my past, I’m leery about trusting others’ intentions. There have been too many times when I have accepted help only to have it held over my head later. You and I both know that this is not real help, but you never really realize those things until afterward.
Of course, limiting beliefs are not always bad things. They can sometimes keep us safe from making impulsive or destructive decisions by bringing up feelings of fear. In fact, the more awareness you can bring to situations like this one, the easier it can be to move through them. Once I convinced myself that it was safe to accept the help, I felt so much lighter. It was liberating for me and I started to think that maybe all this struggle over the past few years has been more difficult because I’ve not been open to accepting the help that is all around me, out of fear of getting hurt. What if I started to say yes instead of no and shed the belief that I’m not doing a good job just because I need help every now and then? What if I started accepting help as willingly as I give help? Now, as I move forward with this awareness, learning to accept help and trust the intentions of others is part of my daily practice.
What limiting beliefs hold you back from expressing your gratitude for others’ help? Are you comfortable accepting help from others?
Republished with permission from YOGANONYMOUS.