Somewhere along the way, we were told that we had to do it all, do it perfectly, and couldn’t have any help. I’m not sure where this notion came from or why it came about. This notion makes us feel like failures and in my opinion, social media has only made it worse. We see perfection on social media and forget that it is not true life.
I have a secret to tell you. We can’t do it all and we don’t have to. Only doing what you can in the same 24 hours that we all have is enough.
I have another secret to tell you. If you can’t get to everything on your to-do list, it is okay to delegate it out. If you don’t have a to-do list that is just fine as well.
We need support systems and structures. We need a fan club. We need someone who motivates us and cheers us on along our journey. If you don’t have these people, find them. If you have people, but they bring you down, find new people.
I’m very lucky to have several support systems. I have my family. I have my friends. I have my professionals (therapist, coach, yoga teachers). I have my professional development groups. I even have fans that I didn’t know I had. Recently, I was at a networking dinner and one of the women that I am on a committee with, came up to me and said, “Meredith, it’s so good to see you. I just have to tell you that every time we get on our meeting call, or I read one of your emails, it just makes me smile. You are just the sweetest person and you have such a warm and happy disposition.” That was such a heartwarming and wonderful experience, I was practically floating back to my table after the conversation.
Why do we need support systems?
We need support systems because as much as we want to believe that we can do it all, we can’t and we don’t have to. We can share our burdens with our family and friends. We can be there to throw a lifeline to a friend when we see them drowning. I vividly remember a bad break up with a man I was seeing, I was driving home and I called one of my friends to tell her and she said, “do you want to come here or do you want me to meet you at your house?” I said, “are you sure? I’ll come by because you have your family.” It was really late on a Saturday night. I got to her house, she opened up the door, with a beer in her hand for me, and just let me talk it out.
It is imperative that we have these support systems. We all need someone we can count on. Having support systems doesn’t make us weak or less of a person. Having support systems makes us human. Having support systems makes getting through something that much easier.
One of the reasons I went into coaching is because when my mother passed, I experienced such an outpouring of love and support. I realized that I could not have gotten through that experience alone. I wanted to give back what I received, and I decided to go into a profession where I can help people and be the support system that they so greatly need. Don’t be ashamed of not being able to do everything yourself. Find your support system and embrace them. If your support system is not helping you or you don’t want to lean on them, find a new support system. You never need to be alone.