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?