I have a story that the biggest thing holding me back is a resistance to letting help in. When I name my needs and someone responds by trying to meet them, I often feel uncomfortable. Like I’m doing something wrong just by needing their help. Like I’m making a big deal out of something I could easily just push to the side.
The downside of pushing my needs to the side is that it’s a recipe for entitlement. I give and I give and I give, and then when I really hit a breaking point and need support in return, I act like I’m owed it.
Ew. It feels icky just to admit that. But it’s true. If I dig deep enough, there are latent expectations of reciprocity buried in almost everything I do. A hope that if I do enough good in the world, it’ll somehow find its way back to me. An unspoken “today you, tomorrow me.” A silent nod to the Godfather’s:
And each time I let my needs ring silent and push them to the side, I not only handicap my ability to be fully resourced and give my best, but I sow seeds of resentment.
Even if I never project that resentment on another, the parts of me that feel overlooked will feel resentful about my tendency to value connection with others over caring for myself. And eventually they will go on strike, refusing to support a regime that abandons the wellbeing of its own people in service of making friends abroad.
Letting Go of Rugged Individualism & Letting Support In
Nooooooo! I am a failure. I am a failure because I can’t do it alone. Never mind the fact that no one can do it alone. That everyone receives help from thousands of people they don’t know every day every time they send a text message or go to the grocery store. I should be better. I should be able to figure this all out on my own and present the world with a finished product that absolutely wows the fuck out of them, finally proving that I’m worthy of being enough.
OK, now that I’ve got that out of system… Now that I’ve adequately mocked my bullshit fairy tale of the self-made trauma survivor who picks himself up by his bootstraps and heals the world. What now?
That’s what my insides scream.
Help me magnify all the beautiful things bubbling up inside me, dreaming of the day they’re released into the world.
Help me by sharing some of the beauty inside of you.
Someday, and this day may never come, the directions I need to find my way home may be exactly where you’re capable of pointing me.
Introducing the 30-Day Extreme Support Challenge
Commit to living a life that requires more support than you currently allow
– Adam Quiney
By the end of this challenge, my goal is to become a world-class support receiver who can consistently complete meaningful projects. To become the maestro of the orchestra inside and around me. To tune into the music that wants to be played through me, and at long last, sing out.
The format will be simple. Each day for the next 30 days I’ll pick an area of life I need support in and… ask for it!
Tada! Extremism to the max!
The caveat that will allow for some casual extremism is that I’m stripping away all governance of selfishness. That’s right. For the next 30 days, I’m going to lean in to being as selfish as I can be. To reverse any nice-guy programming and replace it with, “There’s nothing more selfish than to silence the music inside me. Today, I receive all the help I can get. Today, the choir inside of me gets its voice heard.”