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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Think Differently Challenge -- Ask for a Little Help

I've mentioned my "issue with being a perfectionist" and trying to let it go. Truly this is one of those BIG Goals I talked about in my previous post so I will be breaking it down into mini-goals. The first mini-goal is to ask for a little help.

I was tagged by Greg Butler of Holistic Personal Development to take part in this Think Differently Challenge. Peter of IwillChangeYourLife.com. started this challenge and I am using it to address my issue of not being able to ask for help. I am going to try my hardest to change this and I will give you an update somewhere down the line and let you know how it is going.

Even when ill and in pain it felt like such a struggle to ask for help. I was the helper, the do-er, the one who could take care of the kids, the house, my friend's that needed advice -- even if I was wincing in pain. I love to give to people and I am not so great at receiving. When my husband sees me obviously exhausted from a long day working, taking care of the kids, cleaning the house and running errands he comes home and asks what can he do to help. My response is usually "nothing -- I've got it". My mom does TONS for me and our family -- she knows me better than to ask -- she just DOES to avoid me saying "no". She still gets upset with me not asking for help. Just last night she said 'Why didn't you tell me you needed that -- I was at that store -- you KNOW I would have picked it up for you..." Most of my friends won't even ask what they can do for me because they have asked so many times and know what my answer will be....

Well get ready everyone I'm about to ask for some help! Yes, I would love more time for myself, with my husband or with my girlfriends. Get ready I'll be asking! Yes, I would love ideas to write about and for people to proof read some of my stuff. Yes, single play-dates for my kids so I can spend individual time with them -- how wonderful! Yes, we'd love to blow some stuff off and catch up with friends -- I'll be calling! Yes, I could use someone to talk to and I will reach out the next time I am down! I want people to vote for me in The Blog for a Year Competition and I will be asking! If I practice these enough they will in time become habit and it will be natural!

It's OK that I cannot do everything and be everything to everyone at all times. Everyone can benefit from help and receiving. I will ask and I know I will receive and BOY will I be grateful for it! I'm ready to give up some control and let go of the notion that everything has to be perfect. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength and awareness to realize when you can use a hand and that people WANT to help you. I am thinking differently and will now start to act accordingly.

The most ironic thing about this is I feel like every day for several months I have been preaching the same thing to my 4 1/2 year old daughter Christina. She is very independent and would rather huff and puff and struggle trying to move a heavy object than to admit she needs a hand. Wonder where she got that bad habit from? : ) Luckily there was a song that came from one of her favorite cartoons on Nick Jr. "Wow Wow Wubbzy" that says it all "Ask for a Little Help". Below is the video -- the song is only the first minute and a half...

We'd sing and dance to it and I feel like it has sunk in for her. This week she stayed out of school with bronchitis. For the first time she came to me for help. Whether it was with her computer, opening something, putting something away or reaching for something, she's said "Mommy, I need some help". She's recovered and still continues to ask and I make sure I tell her "Yes, Christina -- mommy LOVES helping you -- thanks for asking". Now it's time for mommy to learn!

Thanks Greg for the tag. I needed this little wake up call! Here's the info on the Challenge:

The Think Different Challenge is all about finding something in your life you currently have negative thoughts or feelings towards (eg work or your mother-in-law), and deciding to look at it differently. It is about realizing that some things are just a part of life, so we may as well try to find the positives in them.

Who Can Participate?

This is an online writing project, so anyone who can publish text and active links on the internet can participate. Having your own website or blog is not a requirement, just write a post with links in your favorite social networking site.

The Rules

    1. Write a new blog post in which you “think different”. Follow my suggestions above, or be a bit different and interpret the challenge the way you want.
    2. State that the post is a part of the Think Different Challenge and include a link and/ or trackback to this post so that readers know the rules of the challenge. Feel free to use the above banner (inspired, of course, by Seth Godin).
    3. Include a link and/ or trackback to the blogger who tagged you.
    4. At the end of your post, go ahead and tag some fellow bloggers. Don’t forget to email them to let them know they have been tagged.
    5. That’s it! Just sit back and enjoy reading peoples’ responses to the challenge.

I want to continue this challenge and I’ve decided to tag the following:

Adam Kayce at Monk at Work

Deb at Fibro-Free

Stacie at Everyday Reflections

Isabella Mori at Moritherapy

Don't be surprised if the next time we talk I ask you for help with something! ; ) Have fun with this one -- I did!


Greg said...

Thanks Jenny for your great contribution in this "Think Different" challenge. I was just thinking along the same lines, that with help from others, we can achieve nearly anything.

Sue Ann Edwards said...


I, too, used to be a perfectionist. Which really didn't bode well for being hyper-tensive, too.

The cause I found within me, was a fear of 'not being perfect'.

I didn't know how to be Understanding of myself.

I didn't know how to be Tolerant of myself.

I didn't know how to be Accepting of myself.

I didn't know how to be Compassionate with myself.

My Love, towards my own self, was conditional. Before I would give it to myself, I required I fulfill a bunch of madeup conditions.

Now I claim to be a Complete Idiot, made perfect by and through my own imperfections. Simply a change in hats made a world of difference for me.

I may be a ding-a-ling but I'm a lovable ding-a-ling.


Jenny Mannion said...

Thanks Greg. It is true that there is power in numbers. I am surrounded by wonderful people and will no longer prevent them from the feeling of joy you get from giving to someone they care about. Thanks for the tag --it was a gentle wake up call! : )

Jenny Mannion said...

Thanks Sue Ann. I know it has to do with control and how I want to be seen as well as how I want to see myself. I love the way you look at it and I am working to redefine myself to myself. Everyone is different and it is in celebrating those differences that we truly become aware of who we are. I'll use the tag "Recovering Perfectionist" now until my self-discovery allows for another! Thanks for your insight -- the "conditional love" rang true! Thank you so much for your comments.

Peter said...


What a great post! You have really captured the spirit of the challenge. I know that if you are able to start asking for help, it will make a huge difference in your life. Thanks for participating in the challenge. Peter

Jenny Mannion said...

Thank YOU Peter for such a great topic for a meme. I'm already asking and excited about receiving! It IS all in the way you look at things.... Thanks for leaving a comment. Jenny

Diana said...

What a fantastic post! I, too, struggle with asking for help even when I desperately need it. Hearing your thoughts on this is very inspirational to me.


Jenny Mannion said...

Hi Diana, I am so happy you found the post inspirational. I think this is going to be a habit I am very happy to have changed. It will benefit me and the people that care about me -- so I've got everything to gain! Thanks for visiting and for your comments. Gratefully, Jenny

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