I look at time alone as time to recharge and renew. And I show up differently in my life when I have time by myself. I used to complain to my husband and my girlfriends about how little time alone I got as a fund manager, woman, and wife. Solitude is a precious resource for me and looking back, I realize I wasn’t very good at resource planning.
I felt this way about things other than my need for solitude. Like the help I needed around the house. The time and space I needed for my work. The I.T. support I needed at my company. The date night I wanted to nourish my marriage. The people I needed to hire to support my home or company.
When I worked at BlackRock and had no time to take care of personal finances, I wanted my husband to help manage our money as a couple—but I never actually asked. Around the house, I waited for my husband to read my mind and know that I wanted help with housework. Of course, although my husband has many wonderful qualities, reading minds is not one of them. I wouldn’t ask for assistance until I was boiling over inside, at which point I wanted help immediately! These “requests” often sounded more like attacks that combined a "what have you done for me lately?" energy with the emotions of a child melting down to get her way.
It wasn't pretty. Or kind. Or effective.
It took a lot of inner work for me to realize that I don't have to wait for my needs to be an emergency to ask for help. A little bit of resource planning can go a long way.
In theory, I knew this. My husband and I had learned it together during premarital counseling. My life coach reminds me of it regularly. Yet I didn't know it in my body and in my heart. Why not? Because I had absorbed all kinds of messages that ran counter to this truth.
It highlights how deserving we feel—or were conditioned to feel—as women.
I still catch myself suppressing my wants and needs. This leads to building resentment and anxiety when no one reads my mind and comes to my rescue. The feeling that someone is supposed to rescue me is horrible and does not contribute to a sense of empowerment. Yet, at the same time, many of us find it a comfortable feeling because it’s all we’ve known.
Here’s the thing…
- You get to have a need.
- You get to have many needs.
- You get to have wants and whims, too!
- You get to take up space with all of your whims, wants, and needs.
But to do this…
The most profound way I’ve found to do this is through redefining your relationship with what you deserve. Your beliefs about what you deserve show up in how you spend your time, energy, and money (three key resources), which I talk about a lot, and which represents some of my key work with my clients to allow them to achieve holistic wealth.
I want to share something you can start noticing today.
One simple—although not always easy—way to start exploring your ideas about what you deserve is to notice your needs when they’re still simmering, before frustration, resentment, and discouragement trigger an emotional inferno. If you wait until you reach a boiling point, you tend to express your need from a place of desperation. You may attack those who are trying to help, especially those closest to you. And they tend respond to this “need attack” in a way that only serves to reinforce the nagging sense that you don’t get to have needs. Or support.
But you do!
It’s your job to communicate when your feelings about the need are manageable instead of out of control. When you do, you send your psyche and nervous system the message that you deserve to request support or ask for something you want.
Why do you deserve support? Simply because you do. Not because you have to earn it or wait for it. You are allowed to have what you want and need. And you don’t need permission to request it.
Next time you notice the first hint of a need, request support around that need. Maybe it doesn’t feel like that big a deal. And maybe you feel you could handle things yourself more quickly and efficiently.
Make the request instead. Of your partner. Of a co-worker or friend. Or hire help to do it. (Many of our clients have hired virtual assistants.)
Does this make you feel uncomfortable? Sit with the discomfort. Build the muscle that allows you to make requests before resentment or rage have set in.
Even better, put support systems in place around a need you anticipate having. Getting ahead of your needs and wants sends a strong message to your system that you deserve support.
We do this at Heels & Yield by encouraging our clients to undertake resource planning for their next two life stages, whether that’s getting married, becoming a parent, starting a new business, retiring, or changing careers.
We construct a roadmap that helps women anticipate what they need, from hired help to a salary increase or time off from work. With a roadmap in place, women don’t feel bad asking for help. And they can ask for the right kind of help once their finances are in shape. We don’t focus solely on financial help, but also on all the other resources that enable you to have space to breathe and enjoy your life.
When you put in the time and effort to look ahead at least two life stages, then you can start asking for—and receiving—the support you need and deserve to thrive.
How does this play out in your life? What needs or wants are most difficult for you to make requests around today? For future life stages?
I’d love to hear from you. Simply leave a comment in this blog post below and let me know.
P.S. If you’re curious about the inner work that I’ve done—and supported my clients through—to come to a deeper sense of self-worth and empowerment, check out the new Heels & Yield workshops launching in January, 2019.
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