From a very young age, I’ve been fiercely independent. I don’t know where this has come from, whether it was being brought up around three brothers that made me not want to be seen as the ‘weak girl’, or my introduction to Destiny’s Child and the Spice Girls that made me feel like an empowered little diva. Whatever the trigger, I get an incredible sense of achievement when I’ve done something or created something on my own.
It’s a sense of empowerment that can be quite addictive, and once you’ve achieved one thing you think, ‘huh that wasn’t so hard, let’s try something else’.
It was this drive of independence that made me do the Rat Race on my own, thirteen intense miles of running and obstacles where I put myself through torture just to prove to myself and everyone else that I was a strong woman. And it was the same fire in my belly that helped me to leave a loveless relationship and live on my own for a year.
No matter the obstacle, be it physical or mental, I seem to have this independent female warrior vibe that makes me feel invincible.
But while this mindset can be great for overcoming many challenges, I recently forgot that actually, there are some challenges in life where we have to partner with others in order to get where we’re going.
Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it.
Initially, the entire concept of help was alien. Accepting help or even asking for help felt like a chink in the armour, a weakness that I didn’t want to reveal. The truth was, my fierce independence had developed a hard shell of stubbornness.
I’ve never been comfortable with people going out their way for me and always have this idea that it will need repaying. Like a debt that I’ll never be able to satisfy.
But life doesn’t work well as a solo journey, there are times we need people beside us to help get over those hurdles.
My realisation of this little issue of mine was when a friend quite literally told me off for not accepting peoples help, “Lizzie, there’s nothing wrong with accepting help!”.
And she was right, I kept denying myself of help due to stubbornness. Just because I was asking for help didn’t make me less independent, it actually made me more independent. With the help and support of others I was more confident that if it all failed, I’d have a network of people ready to pick me back up again.
My yoga instructor recently came out with some words of wisdom that hit hard, – “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. I think we can all take that onboard.
So if you’ve been under the same influence I have some advice for you;
- Don’t be stubborn, accept help
- Be brave enough to ask for help
- Find your supporters – every warrior has a tribe behind them
- Giving and receiving is the best thing you can do in society
I hope you’ve found my recent personal story useful, and I’d love to know if you’ve finally accepted help.
And if you’re wondering about the help platform HelpAsAndWhen that I mention in the video, it’s great for helping people and gaining help. Check it out.