HELP

Be_StrongHELP – a four letter word, one that I have known so many to shy away from.

For some of us, asking for help is admitting our weakness or inability to solve our own problems. Our ego gets in the way and we want to believe that we are perfectly capable of solving our own problems. The good news is that it is true. Each of us is in fact, very capable of solving our problems. The bad news is, not many of us are able to do so, alone. Asking for help is really, the best thing we can do to move towards solving our problem.

What kind of help are we talking about? All kinds, really. A mother asking her child to help her in keeping the child’s room organized is a good example of asking for help. It engages the child and inculcates a sense of responsibility and pride in the child. The mother might feel lesser of a victim and less burdened with household chores.

A person asking his / her significant other for an opinion about a work situation is asking for help. Getting a different perspective can only help in finding a solution.

A professional or an entrepreneur asking a colleague to share how he / she would have dealt with a seemingly complex business decision is really asking for help.

These might seem very simplistic examples but the interesting thing is, many of us, choose to take our problems and worries to bed with us and shy away from asking for help.

Most times, we don’t really think that people around us might understand our situation or be willing to offer their thoughts. The fact is, we have already made up our minds that our situation is helpless and we are quick to give up.

Agreed that not everyone is equipped to solve our problems though there are many people we know, whom we have just not considered reaching out to. Think about that one relative who has always made sense to you or been your role model. Think about that long lost friend who you know has always been willing to help. Think about your colleagues at work, the ones you look up to. What stops you from asking for help? What is the worst that could happen? Would it be worse than not being able to solve it?

Choose to ask for help. Sharing is a great stress-buster. Believe that someone in the universe around you, has an answer to your problem and is waiting for you to reach out.

Not sure whom to approach? Try coaching. You might not get the solution to your problem but you would certainly be able to find the path ahead. To book a trial session, email me at namrata.arora@growth-cube.com.

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Survival by Denial

denial1Living with the acceptance of everything that is going on around us can be a very painful thought for some of us. I was reflecting on a book I was reading recently and then on a recent clipping in the newspaper about how a mother chose to not acknowledge what was going on in her daughter’s life  and chose to live in denial.

Looking back in my past, thinking about the lives of people I know, I realized that so many of us have spent so many years living in denial. I know of women who have known their husbands are having an affair and chose to deny that as they just did not have the courage to deal with what might surface. I know of mothers who know their children are suffering from ADHD but choose to deny it because it really does take courage to be able to accept what might follow. I know of people who are growing old and refusing to accept that aging has set in. They find it unbelievable that their bodies are no longer supporting their desired schedules and they have a very hard time dealing with things. I know of friends and relatives who continue to follow very hectic schedules to sustain their careers when they know that from a health standpoint, they have become ‘ticking time bombs’ which could explode at any time. They choose to deny the fact that they their overall energy levels have reduced and that their bodies now need a different type and degree of nutrition.

This is not to say that those of us who have lived in denial or continue to live in denial are wrong. As I had shared in one of my earlier blogposts, I don’t judge people. Why would I, when I have been in denial so many times myself..The point is, some of us do not acknowledge the fact that we are in denial till we reach a point when it is very late anyways. You deny the fact that you are putting on weight by not doing anything about it. You deny the fact that your child might be suffering or getting bullied at school by choosing to not talk about it. Denying what is going on around you, usually does not help in solving problems. What helps is acknowledging that there is a problem and starting to think of ways in which you could resolve them.

Accepting things can sometimes be very tough. It is important to have someone around to help you look at things in an objective manner and not get caught in the emotions of what you might uncover.

Hiring a coach can help you come to terms with situations you might have been denying. There are many coaches available today. Look for someone you think might be able to help you and give it a shot.

Deny denial the right to take over your life. It can help you survive but will not help you live happily.

From Stuck to Unstuck

Break-the-CycleSo many times, we find ourselves saying that we cannot help our situation because we believe that we are really stuck. We might find ourselves stuck in the wrong relationship or the wrong job or the wrong house. Despite what we go through everyday, we choose to remain stuck. That’s right – we are stuck by choice – well, in most cases, we know that is true. We might choose to remain stuck because we believe any change might upset our life’s balance, render a few people unhappy, unsettle a few minds and what not. So, we decide to become the sacrificial lamb instead and drown ourselves in self-pity every day for many days, months, even years. The result is often something that we might not want to admit or know about. Nervous breakdowns, depressions, lack of self-worth and a lack of desire to live in general are red flags for us to take action.

I know of a friend who believes her health is going down the drain as she is stuck in a very stressful job, unhappy with her situation at home and believes her kids are getting impacted too. Nobody would really choose such an unhappy situation. Perhaps what seems ‘more’ important to her is the desire to earn more money and to sustain a ‘socially acceptable’ lifestyle. That is really where the key lies – in prioritizing our needs and wants. So often, we let our ‘perceived needs’ govern the course of our lives. Often, we do this at the cost of our qualitative wants and desires. We let go of that walk in the morning for the new job because it pays us more money; we forget how we used to love reading books because we are too busy at work and no longer permit ourselves the time to do what truly brings us joy.

Many of us find ourselves caught in the quagmire of what we really want but believe we cannot have, as just we cannot let go of the comfort of our present.

We spend far too much time thinking about how sad our situation is and how we wish something better might happen but we don’t really spend much time working out alternatives to get ourselves ‘unstuck’. The truth is, sometimes, we prefer the sadness of being ‘stuck’ than the likely happiness that a changed situation might present to us. More often than not, miracles happen to those who work towards making them happen, every single day.

The last time you felt ‘stuck’, how strong was your desire to be unstuck? How many options did you generate to get ‘unstuck’? Did you stop after your first try? Did you believe that a miracle might happen simply by waiting for it or did you work towards being ‘unstuck’, relentlessly?

As they say, if we want something real bad, the universe conspires to bring it to us. The point is, are we ready for it? Are you ready for being ‘unstuck’?

This blog post is a reproduction of my weekly column ‘Her Point of You’ in SHE – the women’s section of The Goan (http://thegoan.net/story.php?id=1206)

About Wants

thinking-girlWhen I was a child, I wanted to grow up. When I went to school, I wanted to get to college. When I got through college, I wanted to go to another city. When I went to college in another city, I could not wait to get back home.

When I finished college, I wanted a job. When I got a job, I wanted to earn more. When I wanted to buy a really great music system to listen to music, I could not afford one. When I could afford it, I no longer had time to listen to it. When I wanted to travel to all countries, I did not have the right company to travel with. When I found good company, the only travel that was possible was for business and was alone.

When I wanted a car, I could not buy one. When I finally bought one, I did not really need it. When I wanted to lose weight to look gorgeous in expensive designer clothes, nothing worked. When I lost weight, I wanted to buy a bicycle and not designer clothes.

When I wanted to quit my job, I could not afford to. Do you notice a pattern here? I did..just then…after all these years…of wanting and waiting and wanting and waiting. I realized that I was stuck in this never ending cycle and I just had to break it. I did. I decided to break free. I decided to just do what I wanted and when I wanted it and not wait for a moment to present itself to me in the future, when, who knows, I might no longer be able to appreciate what I wanted in the first place!

I am no longer governed by what I want and cannot have. I look at what I have and what I can do with it.

A completely different perspective…very liberating. Try it…only you can break the cycle..choose to be happy with what you have, now..wants never end..

The gift of the past

learn-from-pastI was thinking today of some of the tough times I had in the past – from moments in my career to relationships to dealing with my own self at times. In life we do go through so many experiences and I figured that what we think of these experiences, to a large extent determines how our present and hence, our future takes shape.

I am currently reading a book by a coach who had a traumatic childhood. A couple of other clients I am currently coaching had indicated unpleasantness from their childhood that lingered on and continues to impact their present in some way. It is extremely tough for us to forget things which may have left us feeling unwanted or unloved or undesired or helpless in some way. It is, however, possible to look at these experiences in a way that can become empowering for us.

Most of us might tend to view things that have happened or are happening in our lives as ‘happening to us’, hence making us believe we are victims in a situation.

Instead, if we were to jump out of the situation and take a distant and objective view, almost as if we were an observer, we might be able to consider the experience as a lesson which was meant to be the way the universe wanted us to learn an important thing about life. If that was the way we would view our experience, it would mean we answer the question of ‘what is the message that  the universe wants to leave with me through this experience?’. It is possible we might not get the answer right away but there is a message and it will come to us. The thing to remember is that it can only be a positive message. It cannot be a message that says ‘love does not exist’ because fundamentally, there is positive energy and abundance in the universe which keeps it going. In all likelihood, the message might be something like ‘find love that gives you more happiness than heartache’.

Our lives might be full of many such experiences and if they were all meant to carry a message for us, they are indeed gifts. Here is a cliche – ‘Now’ is a gift, which is why we call it ‘the present’. Well, the past is a gift too. It is our gift and it is important for us to acknowledge that and to not try and bury it as if it did not happen. We can replace old and unpleasant memories with the message so that every time we think about our past, we think about what it gave to us rather than what it took away from us.

Choose to confront your past. There are gifts in there waiting to be unwrapped. Celebrate life. You live only once – unless you are a cat of course ;)!