W.I.N. Wednesday: I suck at this, but I am working on it.
Ok. The theme this week in the three blogs that I write is to stand up and confess two areas where I struggle badly, in fact I suck at these:
- Asking for help.
I struggle with being open about my feelings, my fears, my past failures and my insecurities. I am surrounded by a loving and supportive family and a network of friends and colleagues who who be glad to help me but, I am just not good at asking for help when I am struggling with aspects of my business or things in my personal life. I am not good at asking for help or just saying no when I get to the point of overwhelm.
Why? I am not sure. I am not sure if it is just my make up, the introvert in me, a man thing or a cop thing. Maybe it is a fear of appearing weak. Maybe it is a fear of being judged. Maybe it is a fear of appearing weak. Maybe it is all those things and more.
For years I never talked in my seminars about my struggles over the years with my weight, being bullied in school, or the decision I made as a teenage that resulted in me dropping out of high school part way through Grade 11 and living in the back seat of a car for months. I rarely talked about the point in my life at 18 years old when I was 60 pounds over weight, a high school drop out, a pack a day smoker working at a job that paid $325.00 per month and I made the decision to change my life and go after my childhood dream of becoming a police officer. Then a few years ago someone at the end of a full day seminar I taught asked me, “Have you always been like this?” When I nervously asked for clarification on what she meant by “Like this”, she said, “You stand up hear for 8 hours without notes and rattle off all these names, stats and stories. Have you always been this confident, dynamic speaker.” While I was embarrassed and flattered by the compliment built into the question it made me realize I had been speaking to this group for 7 years and never once spoke of my past. So that day, for the first time, I did reveal some of my ‘homeless living in a 64’ Plymouth’ story. I was nervous doing it but it seemed to resonate with the crowd.
I am not proud of that time in my life. I am not proud of how those decisions hurt my feelings. I am not proud of it but, I am the person I am today partly because of that experience. I was very nervous the first time I revealed this part of me to a law enforcement audience but the message seemed to resonate with many in the audience.
Over the past year I have begun to power the power and importance of vulnerability. I have had discussions with fellow law enforcement trainers about this. Watching Brene Brown's TED talks on vulnerability and then recently reading her book Daring Greatly opened my eyes and my mind even more to the importance of vulnerability.
I then watched a TED talk by Amanda Palmer, listened to her being interviewed by James Altucher and recently read her book The Art of Asking. The book is about vulnerability and the importance of being willing to ask our 'community', our 'tribe' and our family and friends for help when we need it.
I would encourage you to watch the TED talks, read the books and explore these issues in your life. I am very much a work in progress. I have begun asking for help in small ways and will start to ask you, the W.I.N. Community for help occasionally. When I ask for help it will be to help with something that serves the greater good and not just something that serves Brian.
So, I have a favour. I am continually amazed and inspired by the ways people find to apply W.I.N. In their personal and professional lives. Over the next week I would be grateful if you could get 3 to 5 new people to go to www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com and sign up for the W.I.N. newsletter. We currently have about 3000 people that subscribe to the newsletter and I would love to get that number over 10,000 so that we can continue to spread the message and change people's lives through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?
Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?
Please share this with your friends, family and co-workers and encourage them to go to www.lifesmostpowerfulquestion.com and subscribe so they never miss an issue of W.I.N. Wednesday.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for me to speak to your team, your organization or at your next conference.