100% Jodi: What You Are Actually Doing When You Are Being the Lone Wolf
Click the play button below to listen to the podcast episode.
I’ve been resisting this episode and the topic of next week’s episode as well. Which is kind of funny because the book I’m reading right now, or I should say the physical book I’m reading (because many of you know I’ve always got a book in audible going as well) is Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly.
In this book Matthew Kelly states, “The hardest war to win is the one you don’t even realize you are fighting, and the hardest enemy to defeat is the one you don’t even know exists. Every day you are at war with resistance.”
I love you all for reaching out and letting me know how the interviews and the 100% Jodi episodes are impacting you. The more conversations I have with you the more I want to bring out the best in my guests and encourage them to be open and vulnerable with you. I am also striving to be more open and vulnerable, to share the perspectives and experiences I know will help you.
One topic that seems to be coming up a lot lately with my clients and in this community at large is the theme of being a lone wolf. What I mean by lone wolf is being the type of person who likes to take care of themselves; to be independent and to be seen as someone who has got it all together.
What it Means to be the Lone Wolf
Especially for me and the women I attract into this community, we love helping and taking care of others. There’s no shame in other’s accepting help from us but there’s shame when we even consider asking for help from someone else. It’s a double-standard and we come out the losers.
I remember when I was going through the acquisitions in my corporate career I started seeing a counselor, which was not something I shared with anyone at the time. She asked me who I reached out to when I needed to vent or get some guidance and I didn’t have an answer for her.
You see, even though I was the one seeing a counselor, at the time I was the person people called to vent to and get guidance from. I saw everyone in my life as being more burdened than I was; I was just the one who had the smarts to get help from a professional.
My counselor followed up by asking who I felt safe with. There were a few. I chose my sister Erin but argued that Erin had so much going on in her life at the time I didn’t want her to have to listen to me go on and on about my struggles.
My counselor queried me on how it made me feel when Erin came to me to listen and offer guidance when asked for. It makes me feel great. I loved that, though at the beginning of our calls Erin might be stressed out and overwhelmed, by the end of the call she had renewed energy and was laughing again.
And then my counselor asked me, “Why would you not give Erin the opportunity to feel the same way?”
Boom. Mic drop.
Allowing Others to Support us is a Win-Win
I didn’t know what to say. I sat there quietly considering this question. I hadn’t thought about how good it can make someone else feel when we lean on them a little bit, I only thought of it as being a burden.
I took on the assignment to call my sister and she was delighted. She listened intently, asked great questions and gave guidance when I asked for it. I felt so connected to her and at the end of the call she thanked me for allowing her to support me in the same way I had been supporting her.
Without realizing it I had empowered her and raised her confidence level. It was so easy and I discovered I had someone who would listen when I was sad or angry or at a loss.
Now that was 7 years ago and I’ll admit I still struggle with admitting I need help. It may be because I’m a business owner now and a coach no less. There’s a lot of ego involved when I consider letting anyone know I don’t have it all together all the time and I could use some support.
Here are some of the other reasons you and I may be torturing ourselves playing the lone wolf:
*We’re afraid will be perceived as a complainer. We have this perception that nobody wants to hear about our problems and if we bring them up we’re being a Debbie Downer.
*We’re afraid that if we admit to needing help we’re less likely to get hired, promoted or given new opportunities.
*We like being on the giving side of things because that’s a position of power and control. Opening up ourselves to receive is vulnerable and that makes us uncomfortable.
*Accepting help means we are indebted and thus we’ve lost equal ground with someone. Then there’s the mad dash to figure out how you can return the favor and get the equilibrium back into the relationship.
*Relying on other people reminds us we are not as independent, strong and capable as we thought we were.
*Sometimes we have a hard enough time believing in ourselves we’re afraid we’ll be exposed as frauds if we look like we don’t have everything locked down.
All of the reasons above are misconceptions. There is strength and power in numbers. You help others, others help you, and that’s what keeps the community healthy and strong.
Being Independent Will Hurt You and Your Business
Many of my clients come to me a bit burnt out and feeling overwhelmed with how much work is required of them. Just by hiring me their load is lightened quite a bit because they are no longer going it alone. They have someone to help them talk things through and they are throwing their thoughts up against reality.
I also help them to take care of themselves, to relax that need to always be in control, to set boundaries around what they take on, and to start leaning into the people around them.
Although I’m not surprised it happens any longer, when my clients tell me about what changes start happening because they’ve put themselves through this process it’s a bit shocking.
One of my clients emailed me this week because the life she envisioned for herself about two months ago has already started to come about. Her words were, “many things I listed as wanting to happen have already happened, or are going to happen soon.”
Guess what one of the things she accomplished was? She hired a team member who shares her values and the culture of her business yet compliments her skill set. Win!
We’re only half way through our work together and she already needs to create an even more expansive vision for her life. This one will include more time-management as so many opportunities are coming her way she needs to plot out when everything will get done.
This is what is possible when you start relying on others. Many of you have plateaued and won’t be able to get to new levels because you are tapped out. Higher levels of leadership and responsibility, growing your business or your families takes trusting and relying on other people.
I want you to take a long look in the proverbial mirror and ask yourself if you’ve been being the lone wolf. If so, you need to decide when you are going to choose something different for yourself.
It may look cool and powerful being the lone wolf but it’s isolating, lonely and will hold you back.
I don’t want that for you so if this is resonating reach out; ask for what you need. Reach out in the Women Taking the Lead private Facebook group, get added support by joining the Accomplished Community or reach out directly to me on any platform you are on or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I leave you with another quote from one of my spiritual masters, Helen Keller. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
I hope this was helpful to you and here’s to your success!
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