how to write a life worth living
saying no to negativity is as easy as ABC(DE)

why i need other people to change myself

 Bliss and joy 

Look at me, look at me
I am changing, tryin' every way I can
I am changing, I'll be better than I am
I'm trying to find a way to understand
But I need you, I need you, I need a hand

I am changing, seeing everything so clear now
I am changing, I'm gonna start right now, right here
I'm hoping to work it out, and I know that I can
But I need you, I need a hand

All my life I've been a fool
Who said I could do it all alone
How many good friends have I already lost
How many dark nights have I known

Walking down that wrong road
There was nothing I could find
All those years of darkness
Can make a person blind
But now I can see

I am changing, tryin' every way I can
I am changing, I'll be better than I am
But I need a friend
To help me start all over again
Oh, that would be just fine
I know it's gonna work out this time
'Cause this time I am
This time I am.

 

 

Last week a good friend of mine wrote me an email with the lyrics from this song, "I Am Changing" by Jennifer Holliday. My friend heard the song while watching the show America's Got Talent. She wrote in her email to me: "Last night I was watching America's Got Talentand this 14-year-old girl came on stage. She was very shy with a soft voice. She told the judges she was going to sing 'I Am Changing' by Jennifer Holliday. The judges did think she could do it, but, man, when she started she was WONDERFUL. And when I listened to the song, my heart melted, tears came to my eyes, and a smile covered my face. It really hit home for me and touched me. This is my new theme song!" I was really inspired by this email. The song inspired my friend who inspired me (see how all of this has a ripple effect?)...And it also got me to thinking about change. Change can be a good thing. It can be a bad thing. Some change just happens to us, and some, like the kind in this song, we have to do ourselves. Often the changing of ourselves is the hardest kind of change to accomplish.

Over the past six months or so, I've done a lot of changing. I've changed the way I think. I've changed the way I do things. I've changed the activities I take part in. I've even changed the people I spend time with. None of this has been easy to deal with. Change, for me, is scary. I like consistency (which is why I kept living the way I was for so long despite the fact that it clearly wasn't good for me), but sometimes consistency isn't good. Sometimes the only way to make things better is to change them. One of the most important things I've learned through the changes I've made in my life is something I never really fully appreciated until now...

 

It's okay to ask for help.

 

For little Miss Independent Dani, this concept was not easy to grasp. At almost every turn, I resisted others' help. Unlike Holliday, who seems to have no problem belting out that she needs a hand, I didn't fully appreciate how important the assistance of others is when it comes to changing oneself. I didn't want to believe that I needed other people to make my life better, but that's just not true. I did need others. I still do. As much as I want to do almost everything on my own, it's high time I realized that that's not what life is all about. Life is about interacting with other people, about caring for them, and, importantly, about letting them care for me. Little by little I'm opening up, exposing more of who I am to the people to know (and want to know) me. Every day I feel myself releasing the reigns of independence more and more and accepting the fact that with changes come challenges and one of the best ways to cope with challenges is to rely on the help of those around you.

I've given a lot of thought to this since I received that email from my friend and I've realized that, without the help of others, I probably would have been able to make some of the great, positive changes I've made in my life. I got to thinking not only about the fact that others have helped me change, but about how they've helped me change. Looking back (and looking around, as I'm still a work in progress), I realize that I could not have done any of this alone. As much as it pains the independent streak in me to admit, I need other people, and here's why...

 


10 Reasons Others Can Help You Change


  1. They provide encouragement and support. It seems obvious but this is a big one. A really big one. When I think about all of the support and encouragement I've had over the past few months -- from my family, my friends, my therapist, and my readers -- I am in awe. Seriously. It's such an amazing thing to have a supportive system, a group of people who encourage you and clearly want the best for you. Not everyone is lucky enough to have this. Not everyone is smart enough to embrace and accept this. For years and years I pushed people away. The closer they got, the further I wanted to be from them. More and more I'm accepting goodness and support in my life. I'm learning every day that the people who love and support me are the people I need to have around me. No more negativity. No more wasted time on people who aren't supportive. No more of all that. Now I accept the love and support of others and because of that I'm able to move forward in a more positive direction.

  2. They offer words of wisdom and insight. From almost everyone I know I've gained wisdom. Whether it's a comment on one of my  blog posts or advice that my mom has been offering me for years, everyone from the most distance acquaintance to the closest companion offers me wisdom and insight (whether they know it or not). Importantly, I've found that when I surround myself with the right kinds of people -- those who want me to succeed and do well, those who have faced their own trials and come out stronger, and those who have learned from their own mistakes -- I find the wisdom to be that much greater. Without other people I couldn't have the same understanding of life that I do now. I learn from books. I learn from listening to others. I learn from taking the ideas I read or hear and applying them to my life in a more personal way. When I think of what I know now and how many people have contributed to that knowledge, I'm astounded. I am never really alone and I'm always gaining something from the insights of others. It is because of these insights that I've been able to change, to grow, and to work towards becoming the person I want to be.

  3. They are there to catch you when you trip. We all fall down. It's not a perfect life and we're not perfect. I've done a lot in terms of changing lately and even when I've set my sights on something -- set a goal and worked hard to achieve it -- I've had some slip ups. For example, last fall I gave up drinking heavily but, one fateful night in January I had one too many and ended up a typical mess of drunkenness. I was so disappointed in myself. I was so upset that I'd let myself down. But I didn't give up. Why? Because I had others to support me. My therapist and my friends were there to tell me that this was a slip up, not a return to my old way of life. Making a bad decision once did not mean that all of my hard work was for nothing. I was supported and encouraged and I realized that it was just that -- one bad decision that didn't have to derail months of hard work. I got back to where I wanted to be. I made better choices, all of which were supported by friends and the weekly sessions with my therapist. I can happily say that I have not once been drunk since that day in mid-January, nearly six months ago. I fell down, but with the help of others I got back up again, dusted myself off, and kept on going.

  4. They can be excellent sources of inspiration. Almost everything in the world that inspires me comes from other people. Whether it be books or music or simply words, people, their actions, and their creations continuously inspire me. (I also, at times, feel inspired by nature and by animals, but more often than not it's human-related things that really spark the fire of inspiration in me.) As I've been changing lately, I've found so many sources of inspiration from others. I'm inspired by how others around me find happiness and see the positive in life. I'm inspired by fellow bloggers who post great insights on the world and living in it. I'm inspired by the encouragement and support of others. Without other people, I'm sure I would be inspired, but I doubt life would be anywhere near as inspiring as it is now. People bring good things -- wonderful, inspiring things -- into this world, and a lot of what those around me have done has helped me to morph into this new, happier Dani. I cannot imagine life without the inspiration of others. I cannot imagine changing the way I have without having others to look to for inspiration.

  5. They push you when you need a gentle shove. More often than not, I don't want a shove. I'm like that Saturday Night Live character, Stuart, who's always telling his mother, "I can do it! No, let me do it!" But, let's be serious, sometimes I won't do it. When I'm faced with something I don't want to do -- something that seems so hard that I can't even fathom undertaking such a challenge -- I need a push. For example, back to the drinking thing. I would never have given up drinking heavily on my own. I used to sob, "I want to be happier. I want to stop all of this drama in my life. I don't want to be sad anymore," but I didn't change anything. I kept doing the same things, making the same mistakes, and then wondering why, if I wanted so desperately to be happy, I wasn't happy. When I started going to therapy last fall, my therapist gave me the push I so badly needed when she said, "You can't drink. At all." I was shocked. Of course I couldn't do that. No way I could totally give up drinking. I didn't think it was possible. But she pushed. She made me see that I wasn't going to get different results if I kept doing the same self-destructive things. And, you know what? She was right. Now that I've changed my lifestyle, I'm happier. I'm healthier. And I'm looking a lot more like like the person I want to be.

  6. They remind you of your absolute awesomeness. Without other people around, would I think I had good qualities? Would I believe in myself? Would I know I was awesome? I don't know... All of my life, I've had my parents, my sister, my friends, my teachers supporting me. Without their encouraging words, I'm not sure who I'd be. I'm not sure if I'd have the confidence that I do now. While I might not always show it (who doesn't have their woe-is-me moments?), I do believe I have a lot going for me, and I also believe that this has a lot to do with the people in my life. When I was a kid and my parents encouraged me to write and draw and do all of the things I loved to do, I learned to think I was really good at these things. I felt awesome, knowing that others believed in me, and, to this day I still do. When I receive an email from a friend (or stranger!) telling me s/he loved my latest post, I get this rush of pride and excitement (a much better high, I'll tell you, than any drug or drink ever gave me). It can be even the tiniest thing, but when someone else supports you and tells you that you're doing a great job, it makes doing positive, productive things so much more fulfilling. Sure, I'm working on changing for me, but it feels pretty great to know that other people think I'm doing good things with my life. It's pretty great to know other people think you're awesome.

  7. They listen to all of your crazy, kooky ideas. This one goes out to my mom in particular. I'm always calling her with my latest idea. "Mom, I'm going to write a book about Bella!", "Mom, I'm going to start a blog!", "Mom, I'm going to start a second website!" -- to name a few. Whether I follow through with the idea or not, my mom (and any of my friends that I share my ideas with) is always supportive. She listens and never says anything like, "Well, you said you were going to write a book six months ago. What happened to that?" Instead, she says, "That's a great idea! I'm going to email Oprah!" and "You should send your blog posts to Real Simple!" and "People will love reading about that!" and "You're just as talented -- if not more so -- than some of those other writers out there!" While I don't always follow through with my brilliant ideas, it's so great to have someone in my life that doesn't shoot them down, someone who thinks their great and wonderful and have potential. My wonderful friends are like this too. They hear about some of my crazy ideas and might think that it's never going to happen, but they help out with their encouraging words. "That sounds great!" and "You can definitely do that!" and "What a great idea!" are some of the most musical sounds to my ears. Even when people just listen, it means a lot and encourages me to keep going, keep growing, keep changing.  

  8. They believe you will become who you want to be. Even when I don't believe in myself -- when I've felt that all hope was lost and that there was no way I could ever become a productive, happy person -- other people believed. There are people who have always believed in me (my parents), people who believe in my professional abilities (my bosses), people who believe in my talents (my teachers), people who believe I'm awesome (my friends), people who hardly know me but who believe in me anyway (my readers), people who believe I can become someone more stable and sane (my therapist). No matter what I believe, other people believe in me. That's pretty great, isn't it? Other people believe in me! In me! Other people want me to succeed and do well and they believe I can (even when I'm not in that believe-it-can-happen mindset). This is one of the greatest things about having other people in your life as you're working on making a change. They believe. It's like no matter what I do,  or even if I mess up, they still believe I can do it. This makes me work harder, want it more, and, of course, believe in myself. I know I wouldn't be where I am now if I didn't have some pretty stellar people in my life who really believe in me.

  9. They reach out and ask you about your progress. I have some really great friends in my life who are always asking me, in a really honest, serious way, "How are you doing?" They want to know. They want to know how the progress in my life is going. They care. Without these inquiries, would I be motivated to keep going? Maybe, but it certainly helps to know that every week my therapist is going to want to know what's going on. It helps to know that every so often a friend is going to look at me with those caring eyes and say, "Seriously, how's everything goin'?" Being asked about how I'm doing, how things are going in this whole changing process, is important. It reminds me that people are there, that they care, and that they genuinely want to know what's going on. It also forces me to check in with myself and really think about how things are going. When other people ask me about my progress I'm forced to think about it (which is one of the great things about therapy!). It's so great to know people care and, when other people care about you, it reminds you to care about yourself!

  10. They point you in the right direction when you're lost. No matter what journey you're on in life, you're bound to get lost from time to time (especially if you're anything like me and have absolutely no sense of direction...yes, I can get lost even with a GPS!). Sometimes getting lost can be a good thing. It can lead us in new and exciting directions. But sometimes it can be dangerous, scary, and isolating -- which is why it's great to have others around you who can show you the way. On a small scale, sometimes I veer away from my new found positive attitude. That's when a helpful friend or family member will say, "Now, it doesn't sound like you're being very positively present..." Yes, this is obnoxious, but it's also a great reminder that I need to get back on the path. This is a small example, but there are tons of ways that others help me when I'm treading on the edge of the path, thinking about venturing into the woods of negativity. When I'm on that edge, something brings me back -- a blog post written by a fellow blog, a friend calling to check in, a big hug from someone who loves me. It can be a small thing (a smile from a colleague) or a big thing (the mention of my blog in the paper), but so often it is others that point me in the right direction, reminding me (whether they know it or not) to keep going down the path. Changing isn't easy, but having others to lead me, show me, point it out to me is so helpful.



As someone who doesn't like to admit that she needs anything from anyone, I was truly enlightened after writing this post. I'll admit that I wrote the heading above before I thought of 10 things. I thought to myself, "Hey, I can come up with 10!" and, not only did I have no trouble at all thinking of 10 things, but, in doing so, I realized how much others really have helped me to grow and learn and discover more about who I want to be. Of course I've done a lot of this on my own, inside, but I know I couldn't have done it alone. I know now that I do need other people. Without them, I wouldn't be who I am and I wouldn't be on the road to becoming who I want to be.

Comments

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Wow! This is great! Thank you for writing it! So inspirational.

Cheers!
Teia

What absolutely gorgeous lyrics.

And friends - where would I possibly be without them?

Ya know, I thought I had a pretty good life going for me until I started reading blogging, but I've reached a whole new plane of joy and higher concsiouness, just amazing the inspiration and courage I get from others. Those woe-is-me moments are almost non-existent for me now.

Cool beans! (I'm not exactly sure where I picked that up, but it's my new expression, cool beans.)

:)

xo

I now have a dry-erase board next to my desk (a HUGE one) with a bunch of affirmations written on it. One of them is more instructional, and it says, "Ask if I need help."

All of us have to live our lives by ourselves (no one can do it for us), yet we're never alone. Our layers are peeled back and our energy enriched by those who support us.

I always find for myself that it's when I most need the support of other people that it's the most difficult time to ask for it. BUT, getting help and finding support from others can make such a difference to you.

I think that the key is finding support from the RIGHT people. I have spent a large part of my life trying to make everyone around me happy and give equal credit to both my "fans" and my "critics." When I realized that I didn't have to let negative people influence me, things changed quickly and drastically in my life. I have lost some friends over this, but I realized in the process that people who may not have my best interest at heart aren't really the people that I need as friends anyway.

If it weren't for my friends, I wouldn't have the confidence, courage, or self-acceptance that I do now! Even though I'm not fully there, and most certainly don't feel these things 100% of the time, it's significantly improved since my high school and college days. I'd found in my life so many people who I couldn't talk to about anything because they'd find a way to shoot it down. Now I don't speak to those people, and I wouldn't have learned to do this if it hadn't been for the blogs I've read (and therefore, the people who wrote them). I feel very much like this blog is a little support network for me!

Teia - Thank you! :) I'm glad you found it inspiring. I know that I did as I was writing it. Thanks for commenting.

Jannie - Cool beans! I love it -- so '90s! I totally know what you mean about how blogging can really help you reach a new level of happiness. It's great to connect with people and, in the process, learn more about yourself.

Megan - That's so great about your board! It's a great idea and a great affirmation too. It's hard for me to sometimes admit that I can't do things on my own, but, as you can see from this post, I really do benefit in so many ways from the help of others.

Live*Happy - You make such a good point about choosing the right people. Two posts ago I wrote about loneliness and one of the things the post focused on was choosing the right people to surround yourself with. Having people is important, but it's only beneficial if they are the right kinds of people. Good point!

Ia - I'm so glad this blog offers support and it's great to hear that you have supportive friends. Sadly, not everyone is so lucky, but it's great that you're surrounding yourself now with encouraging, positive influences. It makes such a difference!

(The song is from the musical "Dreamgirls"... JHud does an outstanding rendition as well!)

Dani, you are a remarkable young woman! So much wisdom at such a young age. I can say that, you know, because I am old as the hills!

About change, I've learned there is no "bad" change. LOL, this, coming from one who could give lessons on resisting change. All change is good. Change is instrumental in pushing us to the inner growth we need. When we resist the hints, we receive nudges, then pushes, then outright catastrophes, yet when we are open to change we can easily avoid all that pushing from the universe.

About friends, we need them indeed. We need our enemies, too, and all those others somewhere in-between. Everyone assists us in our growth. Some assistance is nurturing and some is quantifiable as "universe nudges." Instruments of change come in human form, too.

It's all very simple, really. The more we flow, the easier our experiences and relationships. You're doing great!!!

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh.

(I'll note that it's important to think about being SPECIFIC when you ask for help! People want to help us, but they often don't know how and therefore take inaction over action. It's okay to tell them, "I could really use a pick-me-up, let's shop" or "Could you grab me some bread from the store?" or "Do you mind checking in on me?", etc.)

Love this post, naturally...

Veronica
www.drrussbuss.com

Veronica - Glad you liked the post! I have yet to see Dreamgirls, but I did see the rendition of this song on YouTube. It was great! And you brought up another great (and very appropriate) song in your comment. I love what you said about asking for specific help because it is difficult to know what others need if we aren't told. That's a very good point!

Julie - Thank you! :) Every day I feel like I'm making more and more progress which makes me very happy. I agree with what you said about flowing. The more we let go, relax, and just live, the happier we are. Thanks for sharing your wisdom in your comment!

I really enjoyed this blog post. Others are vital to help us change. They are the mirrors of our life and from there if we are willing, we can see what our reflection is out to the world. Often times people are scared by the concept of having to change because it feels so big. What I think happens along the way is that there are often subtle shifts is awareness which open the door to change. Maybe a good friend asks you a very pointed question that makes you think differently about your situation. Maybe someone gently prods you about something that you said you wanted. Then again, it may be the annoying salesperson that won't leave you alone. What I am most curious about is my reaction. Therein lies the clues that, if I am willing, can guide me to greater self awareness. To be fully open to the possibilities of life I believe it takes curiosity and willingness to look at the mirrors in others.

My blog post today focuses on my journey with conscious eating. In my life, I notice people eating - I get judgmental of those that eat quickly, eat with their mouth full, and those who are overweight. What a mirror these people are to my reality. My eating habits are something that I have wanted to CHANGE for quite some time. As my awareness grew around my judgments of others, I noticed my own behavior, my self-judgments and negative self talk.

As I become more in relationship with myself and my body, I notice that I am slowly SHIFTING my beliefs and my behavior around what I want and do not want for my body as well as how and what I eat. As I make these shifts in my perspective, I notice that my judgment of others lessens. The Change in my life is noticeable.

I love this process of personal growth.

Thanks again for a great post.

One other thing that I thought of after I posted my comment -

When others offer to help us, by accepting that help it is a gift to them. By trying to be strong and doing it all yourself impacts not only you but also those who love and want to support you.

We went through a very difficult family time last year and many days were a challenge to get through. I have a group of amazing friends who were always there to help. The thing is, sometimes I could ask for help and they would deliver and sometimes I was so immersed in the situation I did not know that I needed help. They simply offered and I accepted. Now that we have come out the other side of the situation, some of these friends are having their own struggles. It is my time to give back. I am so thankful for the opportunity.

Dani,

It doesn't surprise me that you wrote the heading before the ten things. Reading about your determination to live up to who you already are, has shown me that your intuition and trust in yourself grows by leaps and bounds.

You have always been a wise one, Dani...you just have to keep believing it:~)

I also have a really hard time asking people for help or allowing people in. I think I dont want to show weakness or let people think that I am not capable.
It is extremely humbling and scary to open yourself up and allow others in, something I am working on. It gets easier as you go along. Thanks for the post

What a fantastic post, and spot-on info! Put simply, people need people. Without others, we have no love, no bonding, no reason to live, and/or reason to change. Other people can be like mirrors, pointing out what we are good at, what we are bad at, and help us realize who we truly are.

Great stuff!

I found it difficult in the beginning to ask for help and just opening up and being vulnerable, but once I did it became easier and easier. I especially like your 5th point - They push you when you need a gentle shove. Not only do they push you, it is important as they are there to support you. Thanks for the post, it really helped me reflect back on some of the changes I've made in the past.

Hey Dani,

This is a great post. I think it really is hard for alot of go-getter types to ask for help because they want to think they've done it all themselves. This reminds me alot of what Keith Ferrazi talked about when it came to his new book Who's Got Your Back? If you haven't read it, I recommend adding it to your list. It's pretty incredible to look back at some of our greatest accomplishments and realized there has always been a helping hand. You've helped alot of people without them even asking, so thanks for that :)

Your Mom sounds awesome.

My Mom is always supportive too. I think between Mom and Disney, that's the bulk of where my optimism comes from. I always thought if i wished upon a star, my dreams would come true.

It's so true that we get by with a little help from our friends.

Hi Dani .. first I love Jannie's "cool beans" .. good phrase! Made me laugh.

Your post is so good - I've seen from a daughter's sideline what you're going thru .. my Dad was my age when it ended. He had so much to offer and realising as you have done that life is definitely worth being in the present for is so so important .. so hang on in there, we need you here with us.

It's great to hear you've got people around you helping, guiding etc .. and I know that this fibre optic world offers us wise words from so many others.

I've learnt so much from others words direct to me or in other posts - what a resource for us all to tap into.

Just natural normal people being with you at every hour of the day if you need - it makes such a difference.

I understand your 'do it yourself' too .. I'm like that - probably as a reaction to my early family life, but having now opened up and can life in a different light, at times you still need to be able to cope - as now I'm doing & I'm grateful for that independence, and ability to think beyond the boundaries.

Change is good .. if you don't change you die - I'm sure I read that in someone's comment yesterday .. ie if you don't breathe in again that's it = that is change! Keep breathing girl .. learn to embrace this wonderful constantly changing world.

Good luck - we love you writing your excellent posts ..
Have a great Friday and weekend
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Hi Dani

I really like this post, it is one of my favorite of your work. I stumbled it.
I am a big fan of reaching out for help and support.Great Job!!
Thanks,
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Action

Hey Miss D - thanks for this fabulous post - as always you're so right, I think I need to know it all, all by myself. As if asking for help would mean I'm not qualified to do my job anymore, but that's not true, asking for help empowers you, is a great way to learn and fills me up with magic and love that someone would want to help me too...

You're a rockstar, Miss D.

What a spot on post. And what a great blog. I found you recently through greeninkgirl.blogspot.com and I am so glad. As somebody with a tendency to see the glass as half empty so much of what you write resonates with me. Thank you.

It certainly takes a village. We do need others to help us change and more importantly, once we've changed, we need them to help us stay on track. That's why it's so important that we choose carefully who we surround ourselves with.

Gerrianne - Thank you so much for all of your wonderful insights! I really appreciate all of the feedback. I really love what you wrote about the subtle shifts. I completely agree with that idea, especially that part about how someone can make a comment about something that seems small but can really change the way you view the world a little bit. You also make a great point about how when we ask for help and tell others what we need help with it's actually a gift to them as well. I always feel so great knowing that I've been able to help someone else and it's important to remember that I'm making others feel that way when I reach out and ask for help. Again, thanks for sharing all of your ideas!

Dani, this is excellent! We can't "go it alone", not if we hope to live a very fulfilling life. And that's that real in all of us, that none of us are perfect - and that's also the beauty. Because it can make those connections with others so much stronger when we allow others into our lives. Dani, know that I deeply appreciate the honesty you've shared in this post. Through your real sharing here, you ARE making a difference. Thanks so much for writing this...

Dani,
yours is one of the few blogs i follow every single day. this post is one of the reasons why. you've done another great job of helping us name what we need to move forward. so you've become one of the people who helps me keep changing. THANKS!
thanks too for ALWAYS having such kewllllllllllll images - LOVE 'EM!
keep shining rock star!

Sara - I agree that my trust in myself is really growing and one of the big reasons for this is because of the great support I get from readers like you. Knowing other people want to read the blog and care about my experiences really makes a difference in my life. I'm going to keep believing in my own wisdom! :)

Shannanigans - Same here. I don't want people to think I'm weak or that I can't do something, but after writing this post I realize that I'm so much better off with the support and help of others and I need to remind myself of that when I'm hesistant to ask for help.

Dayne - You've summed it up quite nicely in your comment: "People need people." It took me paragraphs and paragraphs to get to that same idea, haha. You make a really good point about other other people can be like mirrors. So true! For this reason it's SO important to surround ourselves with the right kinds of people.

John - I agree that the more you open up and let others help you, the easier it becomes. I like what you said about support (sounds a little more positive than "shove" haha). We really do need people to support us and I'm lucky to have great readers like you who do just that!

Srinivas - Definitely. When we want to do everything on our own, it's hard to admit that sometimes we can't. I've never heard of that book, but I'm adding it to my list. Sounds like a good one! And you're welcome! :) I'm glad I can help others through my blog.

JD - My mom IS awesome. She is the most optimistic person I know, which was always so confusing and annoying to me growing up as the grumpy, gloomy Eeyore that I was. As for Disney, well, I wrote my master's thesis on that topic so I've definitely learned a lot from that as well!

Hilary - Cool beans! :) Thank you for your wonderful comment. You've made so many great points in it, but the two that stuck out the most two me are "life is definitely worth being present for" and "keep breathing girl." Your comments are always so inspiring so thank you so much for supporting me and encouraging me and sharing your experiences with me. Your words mean a lot!

Giovanna - Thanks for the Stumble! :) I'm so glad you liked the post and agree with the idea that we all really do need others to help us out in life.

Lisa - That's the first time someone's called me a rockstar in a long time so thank you! :) It's great to hear that in a context that doesn't involve me stumbling out of a bar somewhere, haha. How I've changed! And, you're right, asking for help does empower you. It's not always easy to do, but it actually feels great when I just let go and let others in.

Genki - So glad you found the site! Thanks Green Ink! :) I've spent the last 25 years being a glass-half-empty kind of girl and, I'll be honest, it's gotten me nowhere. So this year I decided to do something different -- to focus on the positive things in life -- and, wow, is it working! I wish I'd started this blog years ago so people could truly see how much I've changed in the past few months. So glad you found PP and hope to see more of you around here. :)

Melissa - It does take a village! We (and me especially) definitely need others to help us stay on track. That's one of the best features about having great supportive people in my life -- having them remind me to keep doing what I'm doing well.

Lance - Thank you! You're right. We can't go it alone and it's taken me a long time to admit that (though, all along, I've been getting by with the help of so many!). Thanks so much for letting me know that I'm making a difference. I certainly know that I'm making a difference in my own life and it's so great to know that others are getting something out of it too. :) Two for the price of one!

Lisa - Aww, that makes me happy! :) Yay! I'm so glad that I can help you out while I'm helping myself. Change can be a scary thing and we all need all the help we can get. You're the second one to call me a rockstar in this comment section and I love it! :) Thank you!!

Everything Counts - Great point! Acceptance is so important in life because there are many things we cannot change. However, there are also many things we CAN change (including our attitudes and outlooks) and we should focus on the things we have control over.

totally agreed. inspiring. Its always good to give your loved ones a chance and those who really wanna take care of you. Keep it up.

This hits home, Dani. I've always been a "i can do it on my own" kind of girl even when it came to overcoming some pretty bad things about myself. But I've learned that those we love and love us are there for a reason.

Where would I be without my posse? The players may change, the roles may change, but I can't help but see the awesomeness in me when others see the awesomeness in me.

The day my husband told me, after reading one of my articles on Self-Deception (I just posted my last article in the series, http://thestepmomstoolbox.com) and how I exposed myself and all my vulnerability for the world to see, "babe, you were meant to write. You layed everthing out there and then step by step showed me how you put the pieces back together."

I agree with so many of the other commenters. Change and learning are synonymous with life. No change, no life. Even our own bodies renew themselves constantly, shedding cells. Why should our spiritual evolutions be any different?

I also think this is one of your best posts. I like when you share your vulnerability and your honesty. So many folk villify bloggers who try to be positive, to help people, to support and inspire those who enjoy learning with and from others (I'm still reeling from rather a nasty blogpost I read somewhere today) but I think it's better to live like that. I'm always asking for help and learning, from blogs, books, films, magazines, teleclasses - from too many people and places to mention. And I've also learned by working hard, getting off my backside and doing things myself. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

Well done for the post, and for appreciating your mum! ;)

Hi Dani, this is all great advice. I tend to work independently on changes, opportunities, and growth as well, and they are the areas in life where we all need the most support. Thanks for the reminder on all the ways letting people in helps us to help ourselves!

AJ - It's definitely a good idea to let people in and let them help you out when you need it most. In the past I've had a lot of trouble with this but I think I'm getting better at it! Thanks for the comment!

Meream - You're so right. Those who love, care about, and support us are there for a reason and just because we need help sometimes doesn't mean we can't do things on our own.

Peggy - That's so great that you have such a supportive husband! It's really times like the one you've described when we realize how important it is to have the support of loved ones in our lives. It's such a great feeling to hear positive feedback like that, isn't it?

Janice - Thank you for your comment! It's not always easy (okay, it's NEVER easy) for me to put myself out there but it really does help me and, in the process, helps other people too so it's too much of a win-win for me not to do it. That being said, it's definitely different for me to be as positive as I am when I'm writing on PP. It's very unlike the old me and the change can be a challenge at times, which is why I'm so grateful for all of the support. Thank you for supporting me by reading!

Jodi - You're welcome! After writing this post I noticed just how many ways that others help me and I realized that I really wasn't doing it alone. Recognizing this has made me much more appreciative of all those who support and care about me.

Ooooh, this is such a big issue. I've covered this at TTi pretty extensively and for a reason. It affects SO MANY PEOPLE.

Really, it's about balance...and trust. In order to accept something from someone else, we have to trust them. To allow someone to see our need is to allow someone to see that we are vulnerable. If you have had to take care of yourself - it is very hard to trust others.

There's also a sense of not 'deserving' help. And that can be a thing to.

But finally, it is important to remember how GOOD we feel when we help others. When we deny someone the opportunity to help, we deny them to experience that seem feeling - to balance the equation.

Hayden - Ahh, you get to the heart of the matter with one very important word in your comment: TRUST. I have such a hard time trusting anyone, which makes it that much more difficult to let them help me. Gradually I'm learning to be more trusting and more open and, as a result, I'm able to let others help me out more. Great reminder about how good it feels to help other people. That's so true!

Hi Dani. The best part about reaching out to a friend and asking for help is that you give them an opportunity to change too: a win-win! It is difficult to ask sometimes because we like to appear strong. But it sometimes takes even more strength just to ask.

I love this post. Your article is an inspiration to me in my quest for personal change. Thanks for writing from the heart.

Davina - That's a great point! You give other people a chance to change too when you let them help you, which makes it great for everyone.

Lori - Thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. It makes me happy to know that you enjoyed reading it.

Hey Dani,
This is really really cool. As a person me too have changed a lot in past 6 months(since I started my blog for some reason).And when I turn back to the way I changed, I practically know how true your post is. And I honestly think people and books can do a prominent role in shaping some ones life.But you need to get into touch with the people who suit for the life that you want to have.
Thanks for the lovely post ! :)

So true, Dani, all of it. I have found that the more I surround myself with positive people, the more I excel. And in turn, I can help them do the same.

Karen

Vikum - I'm so glad to hear that you could relate to the post. Blogging has really helped me change as well (see my post "blogging makes it better") and it's been such an amazing experience. You definitely need to make sure you're in contact with the right types of people, but once you have those positive people in your life, they can make all the difference!

Karen - So true. The more positive people I have around me, the better off I am. And that allows me to be a more positive force in their lives and in the lives of others. It's actually a pretty amazing ripple effect!

Your posts are really hitting home with me these days. You offer insight. I know that some isolate themselves with a counselor and their spouse in hard times... I find that I need my network and they are there to provide support and help in so many ways. They help give me perspective - but they also keep me grounded in the real world.

The Exception - Typically isolation doesn't offer anything good when we're feeling down or overwhelmed. The help of others can be amazing when we're not feeling our best. I'm so glad my posts are resonating with you!

yea life is full of those little pricks that make us move.

Nicole - You've made a great point. There are so many little things in life that make us reaction and change and become better.

I have been writing a lot about the value of personal connections. Having other people around us that we trust is so important for all of the reasons mentioned above. And sometimes I think so many problems could potentially disappear if we all had people to lean on in our lives.

I saw that 14 year old girl sing on America's Got Talent - and she did have talent!

Stacey - I agree that it's so important to have people we can lean on and trust in our lives. It's not easy for me to be open to accepting the help of others, but I really do need their support. I'm going to have to see if I can find a video of her on YouTube since I missed it!

this photograph is amazing. powerful. freedom.

Deb - I agree! I was so happy when I came across it because it really does fit well with the post. Thanks for the comment!

Dani, this is lovely! I love #5, #6 ;) (before I forget that part)
I resonate so much with your blogs it is unbelievable! I find it so true what you shared and am recently learning to let go of my independent thinking! I think for most of my life I wanted to 'prove' to myself that I could do it on my own, because I was rarely given the chance to try. But now I see that 'being connected' is about being bold and vulnerable at the same time. This is certainly a *new feeling for me.. but it is oh so refreshing! ;) I always feel bad when others do 'too much' for me - I'm learning self-worth and so who am I to declare what is too much for me if it is (authentically given) when I gladly have poured myself out all my life for others, without a second thought.. Hmm.. so this was also a great post to help me remember, that if someone comes to me in the first place, why would I refuse their help? I really cannot do it on my own, and more and more I'm realizing that I don't want to. I have nothing to prove, that is just the ego. I enjoy community and love sharing (mutual) hospitality skills flowing straight from the heart. Blessings to you! Thank you for sharing, hugs, Sharmila

Sharmila - Thank you for your comment! It's definitely hard to let go of the idea that we can do everything on our own. I love to think of myself as a completely independent person but I really do need others to help me from time to time. I also felt that need to "prove" that I could be on my own, but it really only hurt me when I found myself pushing others away. Like you, I'm still getting use to this new, refreshing feeling of being able to rely on others for help. Sometimes I still struggle with it, but I'm working on it more and more every day and I think I've made a lot of progress over the past few months. Thank YOU for leaving such great feedback! :)

Hi!
I just happened to chance on your blog by some comment of yours about not having an FB account. And I'm so glad I came here. I love your blog! Absolutely. Totally makes sense to me!

This is a great and inspiring quote...Sometimes, i tend to handle thing on my own thinking that i dont need anyone to help me along the way. or they are also times wherein i might be just slefish thinking that others helping me will just slow down the process of my progess. But I agree that we are social beings, we all need people such as our family and friends to guide us and sometimes just be there for us. I believe in the quote "no man is an island". No man can stand alone, everyone needs someone.:)

Divya - I'm so glad you found the blog! Thanks so much for your comment!

Sam - I know what you mean about sometimes not thinking you need help from others. It's really hard sometimes to accept help, but, really, we all need it from time to time. It's so true that no wo/man is an island!!

Wonderful post! I too have trouble asking for help and can have the attitude of a three year old at times...that voice that says, "NO! I can do it all by myself." Thanks for reminding me I can't...and I don't. :)

Living a Balanced Life - I'm so glad you liked this post. I know what you mean about that voice saying I can do it myself, but I've learned to open up to the help of others and it's made a big difference in my life. Thanks for your comment!

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