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No Financial Map? Ask for Directions

Do you have a map for financial success this year? I do, and it involves letting go of my desire to be uber-capable. This is the year I call “capable” enough, and enlist the help of others.

Women in particular are gluttons for the punishment of doing everything ourselves. Why do we have to be in a state of emergency to ask for help? Why not just ask for help instead of breaking down along the way? When do you ask for help? Is it before you’re in crisis? Or after the chaos has already struck?

Room for Chaos and Well-Being
In my regular plan-ahead mode, I am hoping to give room to the crises ahead by asking for help before they hit. My to-do list has transformed into an org chart with team players all going after the same goal: My financial and personal well-being. I’m putting systems in place, keeping in contact with my CPA, asking my husband for support.

That feels good. And scary. Will I lose trust if I look like I need support? Lose an image important to me? What if people think I’m unorganized? Will that mean they will think I don’t have it together? Where do we get the sense that needing support is bad, or unattractive, or unfortunate?

So many questions today. I thought about that last one and uncovered this warped belief: If I am unorganized, I will be caught off guard. If I’m caught off guard, I will feel I am not skillful, not operating at my highest ability, not exhibiting my highest value. If I’m not exhibiting my highest value, I’m not valuable. I don’t have value.

Sometimes Success Means Surrender
Is that spiral familiar to anyone else? How about this … instead of going down nose first, what can you do? Surrender a little bit. Ask for help.

There’s another aspect to doing it all ourselves. We think it’s faster and easier, we don’t want to explain it, and we want it done the way we do it. I contend that even these urges are fear-driven, especially in relation to men and significant others. We hold the idea we want things done our way, when deep down what we are not noticing is a primal belief: “If I don’t have to depend on him I won’t be left. I’ll always be in control and can take care of myself. Be prepared, autonomous, self-reliant, and all will be well.”

My scientific response to that: Phooey. I know myself well enough to know that if take on an impossible task 100 percent solo, I am more apt to get us in trouble than if I had enlisted support. If I enrolled help at the outset, I would be much more set up for success during the task and in the long run.

Good Sex, Better Finances
One of my favorite Oprah episodes featured a couple getting advice from sex therapist, Laura Berman. Popular problem: the husband wants sex and the wife feels no desire. After a set of trust exercises and convincing the wife to give up some of the household tasks she didn’t trust her husband to do, the balance in their relationship shifted. She could see that she could trust him to support their relationship in ways she had never allowed ... because she was too busy doing all the work. In the new balance, the floodgates of sexual desire opened. Her life was easier, and they both were fulfilled.

Life is easier when we share the load. Be organized. Do the work it takes to maintain your financial and personal well being. And don’t be afraid to invite people to help where you need it. You’ll have a whole team humming at their highest ability for your success.

Originally published on Green Sherpa