What have you noticed the last two weeks as you have worked on being more aware of the ways you numb and practice powerlessness? I always need to remember that these guideposts are practices and not a checklist that I will do once. I am always working on letting go of different ways I numb. I am always working on letting go of ways I wind up practicing powerlessness. This week I was more aware of times I got caught in the “I can’t” form of powerless thinking. When I was aware of it, I could make a choice to look for what I could do or reach out for some help. These aren’t easy practices but they are so worth practicing.
This week we are going to focus on cultivating a resilient spirit by working on some of the attributes that research shows resilient people have. In The Gifts of Imperfection, Dr. Brené Brown writes, “Research shows that the 5 most common factors of resilient people are the following:
- They are resourceful and have good problem-solving skills
- They are more likely to seek help
- They hold the belief that they can do something that will help them to manage their feelings and to cope
- They have social support available to them
- They are connected with others, such as family or friends”
Which one of these do you struggle most to practice? For me, I think the hardest one is asking for help. The last two weeks have been extremely busy ones in my life and as I have been aware of this guidepost this month, I have been more aware of looking for when and where I could ask for help. I think one of the ways I attempt to control or avoid vulnerability is to avoid asking for help from others. In fact sometimes, I end up believing I am powerless and can’t do something rather than seek help. And sometimes I convince myself that seeking help is for the weak or those in a worse situation than mine. But as I have worked on asking for help, I have found that it deepens connections with others and also helps me to feel less powerless and more resilient. Don’t get me wrong – it is very vulnerable to ask for help. I mean what if the person thinks I’m needy? Or what if they don’t want to help me? Or what if I’m a burden? But as I set those worry thoughts aside and reach out, I find I can do more when I ask for help. And even when someone can’t help me, the act of reaching out and asking is an act of self compassion. Plus, knowing that there are others who will help me when I ask helps me to know that when things get hard I have a support system who will be there to help me. This knowledge helps me to cultivate more resilience.
- Ask for help – and not in an apologetic way. Ask for help like you deserve it because you do.
- If asking for help isn’t difficult for you, pick another one of the 5 factors of resilient people to work on as a practice.