Pursue What Matters
Episode 232: Accepting and Appreciating Help
Please excuse any typos, transcripts are generated by an automated service
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:00
When is the last time you asked for help? If you’re like many competent people, it’s probably been a while. But if you want to be more competent, and experience more joy in daily life, you really should be asking for help.
Dr. Melissa Smith 0:15
Hi, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith, welcome to the Pursue What Matters podcast where we focus on what it takes to thrive in love and work. So we are talking all about self awareness and self leadership. I’m sharing with you the secure foundation acronym, which is a tool designed to help you focus on specific behaviors and activities to first help you with coping and self awareness, which is what the secure acronym is all about. And right now we’re in the middle of understanding and learning more about the foundation acronym, which are those growth behaviors that are really designed to help you thrive. So of course, I’ve been talking about all of these all summer, moving into fall. And so if you missed some of those episodes, you can always go back and listen in. And today we are we’re looking at the letter A so we’re more than halfway through with the foundation acronym. And the topic today is accepting and appreciating help. And so, you know, this one might, you know, it’s it’s something that’s basic, but if you are like a lot of leaders, this is something that probably doesn’t first come to mind. So you know, think about this, whether you’re leading at home, or whether you’re leading at work, as a leader, you may be more accustomed to giving help, right, like, you’re the go to person, you’re the resource for people. But the ability to accept help, is just as essential to a life well lived. And here’s the thing, when we have imbalance in our most important relationships, meaning someone’s always the giver, and someone’s always the receiver. That’s not a good recipe for a healthy relationship. And that is true at work. That’s true at home. And so we really do want to cultivate some of that humility, and vulnerability required to ask help, ask for help. This is true at home and at work, right? Like, it’s really vulnerable to ask for help at home. Sometimes that’s where it’s most difficult, but also at work. And so it’s important to keep in mind that, you know, it truly is an act of humility and vulnerability to first of all, recognize when you need help, right, like where there’s a gap or where there is limited bandwidth or resources, and then to ask for that help and accept help. It is something that will connect you with others, it is a way that we bond as humans and the reciprocity of giving and receiving is really key to our survival and to our well being. It’s also a very important way to overcome perfectionistic strivings. And so, you know, this is a curse for for many leaders, right? Like this expectation that you should have all the answers that, you know, no one should see you struggle or have questions. And that is an old leadership model, it is not helpful. It’s not helpful to our growth as leaders, it’s not helpful to our team members. And there’s a reason we work on teams, because we value the strengths and the perspectives of each team member. And so if you are in a leadership position, or never asking for help, it’s kind of disrespectful to your team, because of course, they have valuable perspectives that you need to know about otherwise, why do you work on a team? Like why is that a thing? So I do think that there can be some pretty big biases for leaders when it comes to asking for help. But it’s so incredibly important.
Dr. Melissa Smith 4:38
And you know, the the other component of our topic today is appreciating that help and so this of course, moves us into gratitude. This is such an important topic for self leadership and just in general, greater well being. And so if you look at The research on happiness, well, being a life well lived, gratitude is always at the top of the list. I mean, you just you can’t go across, you can’t review that literature Without gratitude, really rolling to the top of the list. And so, gratitude is the hallmark of a life of happiness, peace and joy. So if you were to make no other change in your life, right, so maybe you feel really resentful, you feel really frustrated, you feel like everything’s going against you. But if you were just to develop a consistent gratitude practice, you would become happier you write like, none of the external circumstances would necessarily change. But your perspective, your attitude, what you focus on, can create monumental shifts. And so, you know, there, there’s a nice little tidbit for you, if you were if you were only to do one thing to help increase your well being develop a gratitude practice, because again, it is a hallmark of a life of happiness, peace and joy. And so cultivating gratitude, including offering and accepting help creates a powerful shift in perspective that connects you with purpose, and meaning. And of course, that’s something we’ve been talking about in this series. Understanding purpose is one of the one of the first things that we talk about when it comes to growing and thriving. Gratitude, when we just think about a gratitude practice, right, it’s most effective when it is approached as a daily practice. So gratitude is not one and done at all, gratitude is best, is most effective when it’s approached as a daily practice, because here’s the thing as humans, we have a negativity bias. And so our brain is kind of always queuing to negative stimuli. A gratitude practice helps to kind of stem that tide towards negativity, and helps us to be intentional about looking for the good in our life, and cultivating, cultivating positive interactions. And it allows for a consistent shift in perspective towards seeing and acknowledging goodness in life, that’s pretty darn important.
Dr. Melissa Smith 7:27
So the key with a gratitude practice is to keep it fresh in order to keep it effective. And so, you know, you’ve probably heard conversations about gratitude and how important it is because it’s just, it’s just everywhere in the research. But one of the things that can often happen is that a gratitude practice can kind of get stale over time. So if you’re doing the same thing every day, for your gratitude practice, pretty soon, it’s going to be pretty meaningless, right? It’s just something that you’re kind of going through the motions on. And so this can happen for really with any gratitude practice. But if we think about one of the popular ones, which is identifying five things that you’re grateful for, at the end of the day, that can get pretty stellar pretty quickly. And so, you know, the, what the research really indicates is that we need, so we want to be consistent with a gratitude practice.
Dr. Melissa Smith 8:24
But in order to keep it effective, we also need to keep it fresh, which means we want to pull from lots of different gratitude practices, so that we don’t get caught in a rut with that. And so, for example, a gratitude journal can be effective. But if you’re just doing that list of five things every day, this can get stale and be less effective. So, you know, something that I’ve seen in some families is that everyone shares, one thing that they’re grateful for, or one thing that they learned that day around, they share that around the dinner table each night. One of the things I love about that is it also helps you to get to know your family members and hear about their day and see what was important to them what stuck out to them. And it’s really great because you hear the experiences of other people in your family. And that can spark your own gratitude. And it just makes it a little bit easier to watch for and see the good things in life. And so, you know, the example I gave us at dinner is a family at a dinner table. But this could just as easily be done as a team.
Dr. Melissa Smith 9:37
So maybe in your weekly team meeting, you start or you even end by sharing one thing you are grateful for in the past week or in the past day or a gratitude that you have relative to the team maybe you know a team member really helped you when you were in a bind earlier in the week. And you know that Again, like same benefits as with a family. It’s also culture building, right? It’s prioritizing what’s important that we are a team who looks out for one another, we’re a team who looks for the good. We’re a team that asks for help and appreciates help, so that we value gratitude. And so, you know, another idea would be perhaps sending a text of gratitude to one person each day, or send maybe a longer note of thanks once a week, maybe it’s giving someone a call. So these, these small moments can make a big difference. And you know, when you have a thought, of, oh, I should, I should text this person, or, you know, I really think they did a great job. If it takes less than a minute, just if you can, obviously, if you’re driving, don’t do it. But if you can just stop and send the text, then because it’s just so easy for those things to get pushed to the side. That’s something that comes up a lot for many of us, right? Like, we have a nice thought, we have good intentions to like check in, or to send a note of gratitude. But how many of us follow up on those. And really, that that ability to act on that feeling of gratitude just strengthens that sense of gratitude, Joy well being, it also strengthens our connections.
Dr. Melissa Smith 11:31
So definitely, we want to take action in those moments when we feel that nudge or that nod towards gratitude. And so hopefully, that can be helpful for you today, we’re talking about the growth behaviors, of accepting and appreciating help. And so learning to ask for help is so important to our growth and well being. And then of course, a practice of gratitude is huge. These practices keep us humble, and humble leaders are the best leaders, whether that’s at home or at work. And so if you believe you should be the arbiter of competence and confidence in all you do, you’re doing it wrong. We like people who aren’t afraid to ask for help, who don’t have it all figured out. It helps us to know how we can contribute and helps us to see there, our contributions are meaningful. And so we don’t want any perfect leaders. And I’m really sincere about that.
Dr. Melissa Smith 12:40
So today, again, we were talking about building a secure foundation and those growth skills that can really help you to thrive in life. And so head on over to my website to check out the show notes with the resources for this episode at www.drmelissasmith.com/232-acceptinghelp. So one more time, that’s www.drmelissasmith.com/232-acceptinghelp. Of course, please connect with me on Instagram @dr.melissasmith I always have lots more resources tied to the podcast, and I would love to connect with you there. And if you’re so inclined, I would love if you wouldn’t mind giving the podcast a five star review on Apple or Spotify. It really does help people find the podcast. And of course, I’d love to hear from you. What do you want to hear about? What burning questions do you have that would be fun to to really speak specifically to some of the questions out there. So of course you can connect with me on Instagram for any questions, comments. I’d love to hear your take on things. In the meantime, I’m Dr. Melissa Smith. Remember love and work, work and love. That’s all there is. Until next time, take good care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai