“There is no ‘I’ in team.” “It takes a village.” “The sum is only as strong as its parts”… I can go on and on with corny common sayings that underscore the “rah-rah” behind building a team. Seriously though, life can be tough sometimes. Why do we find it so hard to lean on others when we need it most?
I consider myself very lucky to have a solid circle of friends and family I can rely on. I’ve got my go-to people who serve many amazing and various functions in my life, like when I need encouragement, career advice, health care, physical activity, a glass of vino or just a ride to the train.
Why do everything on your own when you have friends and family ready and willing to help?
In my family we have a habit of going it alone. It’s not that we don’t love and trust each other deeply, but more that we don’t want to bother each other.
When I had knee surgery, I only wanted my husband there. I told my mom and friends to stay home, not because I wasn’t super grateful for their support – I couldn’t have gotten through that time without it. I didn’t want them there because I knew it would be a long and stressful wait, and that I would feel the self-inflicted pressure of keeping them calm when I needed all my energy to keep me from running away (albeit that impossibility given the knee situation).
Each of us adamantly refuses support whether it for a medical procedure or the soup to mend a cold. I will not “out” my peeps, but years ago I had one close family member call me on a Thursday afternoon and sheepishly ask if I had plans early the next morning. When I inquired as to why, it turns out this person was going for an angiogram (which is a heart procedure that could be a quick in-and-out, but also could result in by pass surgery). Um, of course I can go with you!
I have spent many moments since saying things like “If you are having a wart removed, you don’t need to tell me, but if you are having heart surgery, you have to tell me. You are not bothering me” Sigh.
The bottom line is to follow what I call MOJO Makers #12: Surround yourself with a supportive circle and USE IT!
Not having everyone there for my knee surgery was the right decision for me. When surgery started over 4 hours late, I was very happy that no one was there to complain, and it helped me remain calm.
But there are other times where I want everyone there. What’s the point of creating all these beautiful relationships over time if you don’t share important moments with those in the circle?
So I encourage you to consider letting your supportive circle in, even if it may feel uncomfortable. If you know someone hurting, let him/her know you’re available, and if you’re hurting, don’t let your fear of “bothering someone” stop you from reaching out and accessing your team. You will likely be met with open arms.
Marjorie, Chief MOJO Maker™