No More Hard Headedness

I was watching my daughter show off her back-bend skills gained in tumbling class and remembered when I learned to do a back-bend myself  (oh, to be that flexible again!). I learned in our front yard.  My friend and I practiced until we just couldn’t hit our heads on the hard ground any more.  Then we did it again the next day, and the next.  Yes, we tried to ‘spot’ each other but we weren’t strong enough to prevent the many head bonks that followed. By the end of a very long week we had mastered the back-bend, with the bumps and bruises to prove it!
That memory triggered a flashback to when I learned to ride my two wheel bike.  Picture me, alone with my new blue bike with the awesome banana seat and a gravel driveway that sloped down toward a busy road.  My mom begged me to wait until she could drive me to a paved parking lot.  But patience isn’t a virtue I was born with.  So, over and over again I got up on that bike all by myself, pushed off, lost my balance and crashed onto the gravel.  Get up, dust off, repeat. By the end of the day, just as the sun went down, I was riding my bike on the rocky driveway, knees tattered and bloody.  But I had learned to ride my bike all by myself.

I can be a hardheaded learner.

As I’ve grown up and had many more ‘school of hard knocks’ lessons brought on by my stubborn insistence that “I can do it myself”, I’ve learned to get help.  Well, most of the time (don’t even ask me about the time I learned to drive a stick shift!).

I bet you can relate.

See, as a Business Coach, one of the things I see often in smart, ambitious business owners is that same grit and independent insistence on doing it the hard way. I know that way well.  It’s lonely, it’s painful, and often messy.  Why do we do it that way?

Would it be so hard to put a little cushion of help underneath us?  Or to accept a guiding hand as we try to take off?  Or, heaven forbid, let someone help pave the way?

I think the thing is…we’ve gotten by on our own grit and determination for so long, we fall back on that ability.  It’s been a ‘winning combination’ through some difficult times.  And it’s who we think we need to be to succeed.  Because at one time…it was.  But not any more.

I’m not a little kid anymore trying to prove that I can do it myself.  And neither are you.  My goals are much bigger now.  I’m not just trying to master the skill of keeping my balance (well, some days I am!).  I’m trying to do so much more than that. I’m growing a family, and a business that is dedicated to helping others be influencers and change makers—one business mission at a time.  And that, my trailblazer friends, takes more than a hard headed approach to achieving goals.

It means accepting support and guidance from more than a few helping hands.  It means asking for help when you need it and accepting it when it shows up.  It means loosening your grip on doing it all yourself…and realizing that it’s not a weakness or a burden to let others come on board and help you.  It means building a team that has your back and tolerating nothing less.

I’d love to hear from you.

Is there a ‘winning combination’ that needs to be upgraded in your business life?  Can you see a place where you can release your grip just a little?  Or open up to receive a helping hand to get you going instead of trying to prove you can do it yourself?  Have you relied on your ‘winning combination’ just a little too long?

4 Responses to No More Hard Headedness

  1. Carol Hess says:

    I’m laughing out loud right now, Shawn, because I so identify with the hard-headed way of learning. I learned to ride my 2-wheeler one very cold, very icy Christmas Day afternoon. Darned if I was going to wait until spring (or until at least the street was clearer) before I learned to ride my bike!

    Asking for and receiving help is one of the hardest things in the world for me to do. I guess it’s a combination pride/vulnerability thing with me that makes me so uncomfortable about it. But I know you’re right. I can’t do it all myself. Heck, I don’t even WANT to do it all myself — which is progress for this self-proclaimed Lone Ranger.

    Per usual, you hit the nail on the head. We are dreaming bigger dreams for ourselves than when we were little girls learning to ride our bikes. Big dreams, big goals, big visions don’t get realized without big support. Fact of life.

  2. Great story Shaw,n I love the expression ‘hard headedness’. This fits me to a T!

  3. Jefri Franks says:

    Shawn, Amen Sister!!! I get caught in this “I should be able to do this by myself!” It’s so untrue. Why do we think this need for help is a weakness? I lost my daughter to cancer 11 years ago. During that ordeal I had to learn to accept help, and lots of it………you’d think I would remember the lesson that help is good, yet I forget it all the time….thanks for this reminder!

  4. Evan says:

    I’m more than happy for someone to do the marketing for me (to be Steve Jobs to my Steve Wozniak). So far no takers.

Post a comment

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.