We all want to be strong and capable and achieve our goals. And we like to think that we can and should do this on our own. After all it is not easy to ask for help. We worry that people will think we are weak if we ask for help. But what we forget is that as humans we are social creatures who thrive on connections with others. We are stronger and more resilient when we have strong connections and networks – a support system.
Support comes in many forms. It can be emotional, logistical, health-related, financial, or organizational. If we are to thrive and succeed, it is imperative we take account of the types of support we need, and put the right structures in place.
Assess the Situation:
Now that you have completed this assessment – what next?
Build and strengthen your support network.
Are there people in your life you can call on for support? Make a list of people who have been supportive. Think about how you can strengthen your connection with them. If you have lost contact with them, can you reconnect by sending them a handwritten note, or inviting them to coffee?
If you have people in your life that are supportive, how do you grow and maintain that relationship? Find ways to stay connected with them, especially when you don’t need their support. Perhaps you could plan a regular time to meet – monthly or quarterly. Remember to be respectful of their time.
Look for existing networking groups.
If you are looking for specific expertise you may want to look at finding an existing group of people who are focused on the specific support that you need, for example, there are groups focused on developing public speaking skills, building marketing skills, or dealing with a difficult medical diagnosis. These groups can provide not only support but expertise too and you will meet a whole new group of people.
Find a mentor.
Use other support systems.
Reach out to those already in your life. Most people you know will be thrilled to support you, and give you their time and expertise. Ask for the help you need. And offer your help!
The more support you have, the bigger the goals you’ll accomplish. There is no reason to face the world on your own.