The sixth sign in my ‘Six Signs That You’re Hard On Yourself’ e-book is: You Have To Do It Alone.
This one is included because holding this approach can make life really, REALLY unnecessarily hard.
Cue my recent experience of hiring a car in Italy.
Me before my trip:
I don’t know my Italian host too well…I don’t want to bother her with my questions…I mustn’t be annoying or needy…I’ll book my own hire car.
Me at the airport:
TWO hours spent in a Kafka meets Dante hellscape trying to locate the goddamn hire car company.
Hire car company: You need to get a shuttle bus.
Shuttle bus driver: No, we can’t take you
Hire car company: They will take you; get the shuttle bus
Shuttle bus driver: Nope, we don’t recognise that hire car company and we’re not going to take you.
Hire car company: We’ll come and get you.
Hire car company 30 mins later: No, we’re not coming to get you, why would you think that? We can’t possibly leave the office. You just need to get the shuttle bus…..
> cue all the expletives I have ever learned in my rich and fruity life <
As I EVENTUALLY drove away in my hire car - doing that weird crying-laughing thing that comes from the release of stress and frustration and fear and panic - I experienced a profound gratitude for the depth of learning I took from this experience:
Stop thinking you have to do it all by yourself.
Stop thinking you are a nuisance just for existing.
And please know that it’s ok to ask for help.
Or put another way: the sixth sign in my ‘Six Signs That You’re Hard On Yourself’ e-book.
Because it could have all been so easy:
Me to my host: What hire car company would you recommend?
My host to me: Budget Car
But when you’ve habitually defaulted to being hard on yourself your whole life, doing it the easy way can come hard.
That’s why I’m a huge fan of small, iterative change. In my experience, we absorb our lessons a bit at at time; transformation titrated to our tolerance. Sometimes the lessons are a gentle nudge; sometimes they're an Italian hire car company located somewhere in the nine circles of hell.
If you tend to make life hard for yourself, or hold the belief that you have to do it alone, then you might enjoy my free e-book. It’s written from experience, and with love.