Thursday, January 28, 2016

Building A Solid Structure

There is a fine line between “I’ve got this” and “I need help,” and that line can sometimes be the difference between taking care of yourself and not. It can be a difficult line to see, as well, which is how so many people get in trouble with it. It is far too easy to go on believing that you do have this right through the moment when you don’t and, when that status changes, it can change with shocking abruptness.

A critical component of taking care of yourself is doing the work yourself when and how you can. That seems obvious when you put it into words, but the execution can be much more difficult than the statement. So much of the Take Care of Yourself material that is out there focuses on the affirmation and positive thinking aspect - which is a very important aspect, not to be neglected or downplayed, by any means - and either forgets or glosses over the work aspect, and that’s a shame. Yes, you need to love yourself in order to accomplish anything else positive in this universe, but just sitting in a corner saying, “I’m okay,” to a mirror over and over again won’t get the job done. In fact, that’s a good way to trip over that fine line in a hurry.

In order to make an improvement in anything, you have to work at it. In order to make an improvement in yourself, you have to work at you. Work, not wish. Depending on the work involved it may be a collaborative effort, but you will have to participate no matter what. The more work you do, the more you will get done. Again, that is another one of those things that is obvious once spelled out, but we don’t often spell it out. Spelling it out usually means more work, but if you need the work then you need to do the work. Avoiding that fact won’t change it. That will just make the work pile up and more will need to be done once you do start doing it.

Or the entire structure might eventually collapse from neglect. That’s always a possibility. Of course, the structure in this case is you, so it might be best to not let that happen. We’re back to work again. Work to build up the structure so that it doesn’t collapse from neglect.

While you’re working on that structure, though, pay attention to what you’re accomplishing and where you’re struggling. Don’t get so caught up in doing the work that you won’t ask for help when you need it. We all need help from time to time, and there is no shame in admitting that. The intent here is to build a solid structure - you - not to build a clapboard shack. Solid structures are rarely built by one person. There is a great deal of work involved from a wide variety of skillsets. It is only to be expected that you can’t do it all yourself.

Not only is there no shame in asking for help, you may find yourself facing larger issues if you don’t ask. If a situation that could have gone well with a helping hand gets worse instead because pride wouldn’t let you ask, you haven’t exactly made things better, have you? It is important to keep the goal in mind. If what you’re doing is not making you better, why are you doing it? You’re not in competition and you have nothing to prove. Even if that were not true, what would you prove by letting the structure collapse because you wouldn’t take the necessary steps to prevent that from happening?

Never get so caught up in what you’re doing that you forget why you’re doing it. If the what is no longer accomplishing the why, it is time to reevaluate. Reevaluating is something that is helpful to do on a regular basis anyway, just to make sure, but it is even more critical when these two factors begin to get out of alignment. Comparing what to why can be seen as using the level during construction, to make certain that walls and floor are staying true to the line. The two most common causes of not asking for help in a timely manner are not realizing that you need help, and trying to prove that you don’t need help when you really do. Both of these can be addressed by this regular reevaluation of what and why. Keep your eye on whether or not what you’re doing is continuing to work toward why you’re doing it, and adjust as needed.

Building a solid structure, any structure, is hard work, time consuming and often complicated. It will always take work, and the more work you can do yourself, the more at home you can be with the results, but sometimes you need help. You can’t be at home with results that have fallen down. Take the time to know yourself, know your work, and know what help you might need. Find the balance point that is right for you and the results will happen. Keep working on that balance, adjusting as appropriate, and you’re almost guaranteed to be happy with the results. Once you hit that point, the affirmation part of taking care of yourself will follow naturally.

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