There is this book I love called Self Nurture. The book was written in the 70s or 80s, and it’s all about self-care. They may have been calling it something else back then, but it’s the same concept. We think we invented self-care in the last decade, but that’s just not true. We have this need to be the first ones to do something, to invent something, to create something. We want our thoughts to be original, but that’s not the way humanity works. We are all influenced by somebody.
I wrote about being inspired by Oprah a couple of years ago, and now when I listen to her podcast, I am blown away by just how much Oprah’s words and the conversations she had with people affected me. They poured so much into me.
I have no problem saying thank you Maya Angelou, thank you bell hooks, thank you Oprah Winfrey, thank you Iyanla Vanzant. I am here because of how I was inspired by them. That inspiration created me. This does not take anything away from what I have done, but I recognize that I am able to do what I do because I was able to witness those that came before me. Giving credit to others doesn’t take away from our genius.
We all feel this sense of accomplishment when we do something by ourselves. I have two small children and when they tie their shoes, they shout at everyone within earshot to take a look. They are excited because they did it without any help. It is natural to feel that way, but we have to discern when it is time to truly do something on our own, and when we need support. We also have to know when it is time to give people who came before us credit for inspiring us.
It is important to take notice when your ego is running the show. There is a difference between being proud and having pride. I think sometimes when we are fixated on doing things all by ourselves, and determined not to ask for help, we are stepping into pride, and not doing it to make ourselves proud.
Here are a few ways to keep ourselves from falling into the trap of trying to doing everything alone:
Determine whether you are doing something by yourself because you want the glory of being able to say you did it, or if you’re using yourself as a resource because you don’t have anyone else to turn to, or if you’re doing it because you’re good at it and you enjoy it.
Ask for help. Allow yourself to be supported and give others the chance to support you.
Express gratitude. Acknowledge how the efforts and achievements of others contribute to what you accomplish.
Yellow Jackets. This is a really good show about a soccer team from the 80s whose plane went missing for 19 months. It’s very suspenseful and I am excited to see where it’s going. You can watch this show on Showtime.
Dexter: New Blood. I absolutely love Dexter. The show was gone for a while and they have done such a wonderful job reviving the character. You can watch this season and all previous seasons of Dexter on Showtime.
Who are you inspired by?
What have you done by yourself when you really could have used some help? Why didn’t you ask for support?
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