As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we are hearing about all the amazing accomplishments by women around the world. Truthfully, I believe the world becomes a better place as more women assume leadership roles. When we rise to our potential, we are able to uplift our communities, organizations and families. I do have a cautionary note for all my Super SHEro sisters though-we have to learn to ask for and accept help.

Just because you can do it all, doesn’t mean you have to do it by yourself.

I read an article the other day written by a mother who was shared how much crazier her life became as her kids grew up and went to school. She shared about the added work and stress that came from the paperwork, activities and scheduling challenges. She was married, but I noticed she never spoke about her husband sharing the load.

It made me realize how much as women we take on more without asking for help, proudly putting on our superwoman capes and fighting the daily fight—all without a help.

Super SHEros Need Side-kicks Too!

The superwoman complex is real. I know, I struggle with it constantly.  I’m so used to everyone, including me thinking I can do it all, that the notion of asking for help is a last ditch option. It’s like going nuclear.

What would happen if we ask for help? Would the birds stop singing? Would things fall apart? Or could we possibly achieve even more than we do now?

A curious thing happens when you all for help. Other people actually help. They do tasks for themselves and others. They take some of the load off your shoulders. They learn new skills. They feel appreciated, empowered and happy to be of service to their resident super-shero.

And guess what? You’ll feel good too. Suddenly you may have a little extra time to work on something new. You might be able to sleep in. Read a book. Work on that long forgotten project. Start a new goal. Breathe.

Don’t believe me? Try it. Come up with a list of things you always say you wish you had help on. (Yes do it now!) Think about who might be the most likely person to support you. Ask that person if they would be able to help.

Try it. I dare you.

Let the Fear Go

Now I know you’re worried “what it they think I can’t do it on my own?  Or what if they realize they don’t need me after all?”

Let’s talk about that.

You’ve been doing it all this time. They already know you’re capable of doing it. You’ve processed it over and over again. It’s now time for someone else to acquire that skill. So let your kids do their own laundry. Let your assistant learn to pull the monthly report. Let your sibling file their own taxes. 

Think about the adage “give a (wo)man a fish and you free her/him for a day, teach a (wo)man to fish and you feed her/him for a lifetime.”

As parents our jobs are to teach our kids how to become self sufficient human beings. That means we have to teach them how to do important life skills for themselves.

At work, our roles as managers include teaching our staff how to develop their skills and accept more responsibility. We have to let go so someone else can grow.

Now about the real fear. What if they no longer need me? You are worth more than what you do for others. You are valuable simply by being present. If you’re feeling that self worth or someone else’s estimation of your value is tied to the things you do for them, there’s an issue. 

Transactional relationships aren’t healthy ones. 

Yes, we do things for each other at work and home. We pull our own weight. We show we care by our actions. But that shouldn’t be the only aspect of a relationship. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be used and be under appreciated.

So instead of complaining and taking the lion’s share of responsibility-ask someone for help today. And help a sister out by passing this message along!

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