Why we Need to Ask for Help

I don’t always feel supported. I often feel like I’m carrying the weight of my kids, my husband, our businesses, and my life on my back. As if, it’s just me and no one else.

Based off all my early teachings, I should feel good about being able to carry so much weight. After all, our generation of women has been taught that independence is highest achievement.

With that trophy comes a feeling of heaviness, and ultimately resentment towards the people who I claim are throwing the pounds my way.

I find myself taking it out on the easiest targets. You know, the people who are closest to me: the kids, my husband, and even poor Foxy.

Is it really their fault? If I think about it, I trained them to be this way. I sold them on the idea that I am Super Woman in the flesh. How lucky are you that you married (or your mom is) Super Woman?

And while I can keep that persona up for an impressive amount of time, at some point I crack. The result? Someone gets hurt. More often than not, it’s the innocent person who trusted me with blind faith because I told them to. 

Yet, the person I hurt the most is myself. Why? Because when we convince ourselves that we can do it all on our own without asking for help, all we’re doing is setting ourselves for failure. At some point we will fail.

Failure in our everyday lives is defined as not checking everything off our to-do list or not remaining consistent with our new routines. Once we see we’re not hitting those marks, we begin to define ourselves as weak, inconsistent, and a fraud. This definition of self creates a scared and worried person. Scared and worried people find it hard to grab on to the courage needed daily to design our most authentic lives.

What if we could avoid all of this hurt? What if there’s a better way?

ASK FOR HELP

I think there is, and it requires two shifts in our thinking. First, perhaps we are not Super Woman? Meaning, maybe we do need help from others to get everything done. We can get our vision completed, but we need to ask for help, which takes courage. Courage is your real super power. The courage to ask our children, our spouses, our friends, our co-workers, and even strangers for help.

People enjoy helping. It makes them feel good. In fact, we are offered small gestures of help every day. Like the person who opens the door for us or offers to bring out or groceries. Most often, we say no to the small help, which blinds us from the possibility of bigger help. Receiving help in small ways is how we build the muscles to receive (and ask for) help in the bigger ways.

CREATE SPACE IN YOUR TO-DO LIST

Secondly, do we really need to do all that stuff on the to-do list? Which items on the list are there to impress others? Which are the tasks on there that help keep up our perfect person persona? Let’s delete those and never look back.

Where else can we make space on our list? How about all the things we think we “should” be doing? Shoulds are usually other people’s agendas for us, not on our own. We don’t need to fulfill the agendas of others. Let’s take that off, too.

As we add more contributors to our lives and less empty tasks, we begin to feel more supported. It didn’t require extra money or an impossible orchestration of troops. All that is required is the knowing that we are enough as is. We are not considered worthy because of how much we do and how we do it. We are enough just because.

And sure, there are some worldly things that need to be accomplished, but doing them with help and intention is the real way to work smarter and not harder. We are supported. Resentment is simply a choice of thought. The courage to ask for help and clear our lists is also a choice. One choice feels better than the other.

 

How to Discover our Talents and What we're Meant to do in this Life

I remember the first time I felt like a fraud of a creative. I was standing in the short walkway between my office and the deputy editor’s office. Despite being a few months younger than me, she was to become my beloved mentor.

Her confidence wasn’t the obvious type. She wasn’t the archetypical boss. When she walked through the office, you didn’t feel like you needed to straighten up in your chair, close the not-appropriate-for-work screen on your computer, and look alive. It wasn’t her leadership skills, either. It was the faith she had in her craft that had me at hello.

At the time when I met her, I had already brushed shoulders with several professional creatives in the past. I even dated a few. Somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, maybe creative talent would rub off on me like a sticky STD. Like any devoted groupie will tell you, it doesn’t. And even though I had a front-row seat to the show, I was so busy being in awe of the talent that I failed to realize and admit that I wanted to be one, too.

It wasn’t until years later, when I landed my first magazine job, that I was treated as an equal. In her action and her expectations, my deputy editor managed to see me as her fellow writer. Yet, inside my imposture heart, I feared we were anything but alike.

As we stood in the hallway, musing as we often did, she began to tell me about the time she wrote an entry for a child version of Chicken Soup for the Soul when she was in grade school. That is when I realized she was one of those creatives. You know, the kind who always knew they had a love for expression. The kind of artist who was supported and guided from a young age. She was committed to her art, and her art was committed to her.

I imagined her drafting her first published piece in her childhood bedroom with the door slightly open, offering her just enough privacy to create, but also making it very clear that she wasn’t hiding. I presumed her writing had purpose.

As for me, my earliest memories of writing were the times I would lock myself in my bedroom to write my oh-so complicated, high school love stories and those of my friends. No one in my family knew I was writing. And to be honest, I didn’t even know I was writing. It felt more like an impulse — like a necessity.

Although writing felt like a necessity, similar to breathing, it didn’t feel special. The practice was an extension of myself. And for that reason, I never saw it as a gift.

I find this to be true for many artists. Our talents feel so natural that we don’t even notice they are gifts. And since they just feel like one piece of our whole, there’s really no reason to nurture that one specific piece. Eventually, the gift goes unnoticed and, therefore, never cultivated.

Even when I hit that place in my life where I felt dissatisfy with my work, I tried to look back for signs for anything that would signal my purpose. People tell you to find your passion - to look at your past for clues. All my past looked like was extraordinarily ordinary.

As I stood in that hallway in awe of my co-worker’s accomplishment, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “She’s going to figure me out.” Somehow I had found my way into this job as an associate editor at a local magazine. I earned it, yet in a weird way, I always felt like I cheated to get there.

I did not study English literature or journalism at school. The first time I ever read a full novel was in college — and it was chick lit. I was an awful speller, and an overall average student growing up. In other words, I wasn’t being groomed to be a writer. In fact, my talent was so raw that for most of my life I didn’t even know it was there.

THE TWO KINDS OF TALENTS

As the years have gone on, I’ve learned that there are two types of talents: the ones we learn and nurture to reach some level of mastery, and our God-given talents. God-given talents are the ones that surprise us. It’s like that time you picked up a guitar for the first time and realized, “Wow, I feel at home here.” That’s what writing was for me. I had never really practiced it, but once I indulged, I realized I was home.

And then we have learned talents. These are the things we enjoy and because of that, we’ve practice a lot to a point where we’ve reached some level at mastery. Perhaps you played piano growing up. You practice enough to make your talent pretty good, but in the back of your mind, you know you weren’t necessarily made to play piano.

WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

Your gifts are clues towards what you’re supposed to be doing in this lifetime. There is no greater tragedy than leaving our God-given talents dormant. Sometimes we don’t discover them until much later in life. The timing really doesn’t matter. What is important is that we constantly create space to allow those gifts to show themselves.

Giving them space means constantly following our curiosity. The things that spark our interests are always worth pursuing — even if it’s just for a short period of time.

We also want to take our talents seriously. Never ever do we want to pass them off as silly or just a fluke in the talent factory. Absolutely not. They are in you for a reason. Use them, and you will eventually discover why they are there.

Within the practice of using our talents we discover how God intends to use us. And isn’t that what we all want? To be used in the way we were intended to be use. That synchronicity, to me, is an essential part of our individual spiritual paths.

My prayer for you is that you begin to walk it today.  

How to be More Consistent

Hey, my friend. Do you ever wonder why we get so stoked and inspired by an idea, take a few steps, and quickly fall into a hole of doubt? I know I've spent a lot of time thinking about it!

Remaining consistent has been one of my greatest challenges for so many years. And sure, I can sit here and tell you how I can blame it on my upbringing, but that's just not really fair. 

The reason we're afraid of sticking to things is because we don't really believe what we're working towards is actually going to work. After a few weeks of working on that new project, new healthy lifestyle, or even new relationship, we begin to doubt ourselves. We look back at those first few days of inspiration — the thing that actually pushed us to take the leap — and somehow, it all feels fake. We begin to question if what we felt, which at the time felt so clear and easy, was even real. And that, my friend, is when we hit the breaks. 

We stop being consistent at the first sign of self-doubt. Sucks, right? Because self-doubt feels so real. It's hard to talk ourselves out of believing in the self-doubt. But remember, we have two choices: to believe the inspiration or believe the self-doubt. Logically, which one sounds like the better choice?

Obviously, following inspiration. So how do we follow inspiration? We do that by preparing ourselves. That means, making a plan, surrounding ourselves with the right people and circumstances, and filling our mind with the right thoughts — even if we don't believe those thoughts at first. 

In the video below, I go deeper into the topic. This is a video from my Facebook Live sessions, which happen Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. EST on my Facebook page. I would love for you to join me next time. I'll answer your questions. 

Alright, my little seeker. You inspire with your courage. Keep going.

How to be Consistent with Your Morning Ritual Even When You’re Traveling

It’s funny, the things that bring me joy in my life — my kids, my husband, my work, my friends — at times, completely exhaust me. I find myself at the end of a long day, or even after a few hectic hours in the morning, completely resentful. In other words, pissed off at all the people who “take” from me on a daily basis.

Why do we get like this? Why do we get annoyed at the very things we prayed for at some point in our lives? God knows I was visualizing like it was my job when I was trying to manifest a husband. So why now complain about the life we’ve created?

Simple: we’ve lost our center.

As givers, it is easy for us to lose ourselves in the, well, giving. And sure, we can plan a “me day” here and there. You can treat yo self every so often. But does that really offer a sustainable fix?

Finding center is the real solution. And finding that center is about connecting to the part of us that knows more than we can comprehend… the part of us that is unshakeable… the part of us that is the definition of peace.  

So, how do we get there? Allow me to suggest implementing a morning ritual. First, this will satisfy our need for “me time.” And guess what? You get it on a daily basis. Second, your routine will help cure the internal crazies by offering you a place to retreat to no matter how hectic life may seem. Third, you’ll be more focused and intentional as opposed to the beautiful disaster we usually tend to be. And lastly, you can bring this secret weapon with you anywhere (that means you, the on-the-go boss lady).

What is a Morning Ritual?

The idea of a morning ritual is to take a moment to reflect. I want you to consider what you need from a morning break and then create your own system. And just to give you an example, my goals during my rituals are:

  • To bring to mind the good and the things I am thankful for.
  • To train my mind to be strong, meaning not falling into self-doubt, criticism, or any other yucky negative brain habit.
  • To bring to mind the kind of life I’m trying to build when it comes to family, work, and lifestyle.
  • To say thanks to the energy that created us.

How to Create a Morning Ritual

This is your time, so feel free to get creative. I’ve heard of some people drinking coffee, staring at the ocean, stretching, journaling, meditation… you name it. Implement short “exercises” that feel right for you. And if you're traveling, feel free to switch it up to take advantage of your new surroundings. 

What I do? Here ya go:

  •  I sit on my yoga mat in my office.
  •  I stretch.
  • I journal. Usually about the things that are frustrating me, so I can find some clarity or at least brain dump it on the pages. This way I don’t have to carry it around.
  • I bring to mind the things I’m thankful for.
  • I set my phone timer for 10 minutes and meditate. I do my best to not indulge in the thoughts, so I can give my mind a rest — and also understand myself better.
  • I bring to mind any goals I’m working on and repeat any mantras I’m working with.
  • I say thanks to our creator for giving me the life and responsibilities I have this lifetime.

How to Keep up Even When You’re Busy or Traveling

Like most things, we get really excited about implementing these good-for-us activities, but somehow we find ourselves giving up in just a few weeks, a lot of times due to a busy schedule. How can we avoid that? I got you.

  • Super important. Even for the non-morning peeps. Set your alarm clock to 20 minutes earlier than you usually do. I know, I know. Sleep is precious. I promise you, these 15 minutes you give to yourself will make you more productive, efficient, and confident. It’s a worthy investment indeed.
  •  Keep it simple. Grab a journal and a daily devotional if you’re not sure where to start. You can even watch my morning videos here. This way you don’t have to carry a book around when you’re on the go.
  • Have an accountability buddy who can send you a morning text to remind you.
  • If the morning doesn’t work out, try lunchtime, right before dinner, or whenever you can sneak in a moment.

The last thing I’d like to leave you with is to commit to yourself. Trust that you would benefit from this dedicated time. You deserve this time to yourself — and so do the people around you. It’s not selfish. It’s how we stay centered.

Thank you to Hilton Garden Inn for inspiring this #HGIBrightIdeas post and for caring enough about our emotional well being to sponsor this post.

And by the way, have you enter into Hilton Garden Inn’s #HGIBrightIdeas contest to win a free two-night stay? Here’s what you need to do:

1.     Post a photo to Instagram.

2.     In the caption give your own time-saving travel tip.

3.     Use the hashtag #HGIBrightIdeas.

4.     Tag @hiltongardeninn and @nikkinovo.

5.     Send me a postcard once you win!

When Nothing Seems to be Working

It’s funny. Many times, we try so hard to keep the peace by cloaking ourselves in a status-quo disguise. Our hope is that we remain in the lane of “what we should do,” in fear of expressing “what we really want to do.” The real wants feel selfish. The real wants feel crazy. The real wants feel unsafe.

So instead, we pick what is said to be the safe route. We are sold on what is described as a formula, offering guaranteed results. Yet, when we find ourselves checking off all the steps on the list (get a degree, get a job, find a partner, and so on), we feel farther and farther from personal success… our purpose… our definition of happiness.

What we feared the most is what we have become: lost.

Funny enough, even when we fall deep into that place of secured unhappiness, some how, we all know our way back home. We innately know that home is found inside our hearts. And just like that, what we really want doesn’t seem as risky anymore.