These days, I am learning some new skills that we as women, parents, and business leaders could all use encouragement to practice:
- Asking for help
- Choosing joy
Over the past four months, I have been faced with some pretty significant challenges both personally and professionally. So much of what I took for granted as constant has shifted and restructured. My work life, my business, my family, and the roles I held within all of these constructs have changed. There was loss and there was growth. There was challenge and there was success.
Throughout this time, I was faced with choice in how to move forward and how to show up: either with fear or with bravery.
I wanted to choose bravery, but for me, being brave meant asking for help and choosing joy.
Both of these acts of bravery felt difficult. Asking for help and choosing joy felt and continue to feel like acts of rebellion.
But! I made a commitment to be brave.
I started by identifying my priorities: my health, kids, and business.
I then identified my community: my family, friends, teammates, and advisors.
Lastly, I identified what brought me joy and made a hard commitment to prioritize these things. I knew joy was what would carry me through challenge and keep me focused with mental clarity.
I then needed to ask for help.
Asking for help isn’t easy; it requires self-awareness and vulnerability. Many women carry an incredible amount of weight and although uncomfortable, we understand what it takes to walk through life carrying this weight. We don’t see the weight as burden; we see it as love and often as obligation. Asking for help is not something many of us know how to do; we inherently understand that as parents, professionals, leaders, and caregivers, we have a lot to juggle, but with this, we often feel alone. We usually don’t ask for help.
Choosing joy also isn’t easy. We are loaded with responsibilities of work, family, roles and expectations, financial pressures, and the list continues. Choosing acts of joy requires effort and a commitment to counter societal expectations to accept hardship and to grin and bear it.
I am working hard at asking for help and choosing joy. I am paying attention to the people around me and I am inspired by others doing the same. As business owners, it starts with recognizing what we can do and what we can’t, with identifying risks and opportunities, and making a commitment to being brave and asking for help to mitigate risk and pursue opportunities.
As we’re heading into the last few weeks of Q2, I urge us all to reflect on our priorities, our values, our community, and our sources of joy. I encourage us to pursue what makes us smile and to ask for help. It’s an ongoing practice and we will all feel a little better, a little lighter, a little more free, and a little happier if we focus on practicing the skills of asking for help and choosing joy.
Good luck out there. You’re doing great and you’ve got this.