I do most things the hard way. I have yet to understand why I do this, but I do it constantly. Chronically would actually be a better word. Cause it’s starting to feel like a sickness. And yet I am lucky enough to have people in my life who love me enough to save me from myself on a regular basis.
In the past 48 hours I have been challenged to come face to face with myself on this issue. I have spun my wheels for days on two projects. And instead of asking for help, I just dig in my heels until I find the answer. I suppose that’s effective if you have no other resources around, but for me that is definitely not the case.
To make matters worse, not only will I not ask for help, but when help is offered, I take it as a personal affront. As if the offer of help makes me appear weak and like I’m not doing a good enough job. And then, unfortunately, I respond from that place accordingly, which usually takes the form of extreme defensiveness. I am projecting what I feel onto that person as if under attack and it’s all their fault.
I have had this response to two very important people in my life in the past 48 hours. To one person I offered a passive aggressive response (I am working on this) I realize in retrospect, and she of course being intuitive as she is picked up on the very subtle undertone and asked if I was angry at her. I put her in a terrible position and she was genuinely trying to help me, but I felt sabotaged and like I was not good enough. And she ended up being on the receiving end and it had nothing to do with her and everything to do with me. Poor. Little. Victim. Me. Bullshit.
Oh, how that feeling haunts me and I fight every day like hell and end up struggling against it when I need only to consider what the person is really trying to communicate to me and strip out my twisted story/version of the events. Here’s the wild knee jerk tape that kicks in, in these situations. My version: They don’t think I’m good enough. The reality: Nikki, you’re making it hard on yourself. Work smarter not harder, my dear.
See, they’re only trying to help me and prevent me from wasting any more of my precious time so I can spend more time doing the things I enjoy vs. spinning my wheels stuck in neutral.
It’s funny I can be objective about so many other things, but this one trips me up far too often than I care to admit.
The other person has a high bullshit detector for me so she can spot it right away and calls me on it. Every time. See this doesn’t just happen a few times here and there, it happens A LOT with me. And I need to change it. I thought that by really recognizing what it is, I could heal it, but there’s something about it that I am refusing to learn. And it’s irritating as shit.
I owe an apology to both of them. One of them I will email straight away and explain what happened, even though she may already be the wiser. The other, well, it’s not so easy to offer one up to her. Apologizing is not making the change and she’s had it up to here with my apologies. It’s like a patch job. It may appear fine for the moment, but no change has really been made.
It’s simple, you’re thinking. Just change. And it is a simple enough change, and I could offer a thousand excuses why it’s hard and blah, blahdey, blah, but that only keeps me stuck and gets me off the hook.
What I really need to do is thank them for challenging me to be better. It’s such a gift.
But instead, here’s what I will do. I will give myself a time limit on things that could be a potential struggle, and a reasonable one, and then once I have hit that limit, I have to pull out the white flag and call it. I will tell myself that it’s okay to call it. That it’s okay to ask for help. And I will ask for help. I will take a deep breath, and be open to receiving that help.
And when I have surpassed the point of surrender without surrendering and the people in my life tell me to stand down, then I will do so. With grace, humility and gratitude. But I will also remember to be compassionate when I don’t quite make it. I just won’t wallow in it. I have to keep moving.
This must become a practice like everything else. And I have to be very mindful of what I’m doing. I have to make different choices if I want to experience this life differently. And the more I struggle against anything that could potentially help me, the farther behind I fall and more unhappy I am.
I will not talk the talk any longer. I must walk the walk. As they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so let the journey begin …