This morning, I took a call that broke my heart. A business owner is closing their doors effective December 1st. The saddest part is, I, and other peers, had no idea. This person wore a smile, never let on that there were issues, and waited until things were dire to open up. By the time they said something, the date was set to turn the keys over to the bank. They’re giving up.
Why are we afraid to admit our struggles, and ask anyone for help? So often, most of us wait until we’ve reached the end of our rope to take the mask off.
When my grandson was between the ages of eighteen months and three years, he summed up the thinking behind this issue. Anytime I offered help as he tried to get dressed, or eat his pancakes, he’d respond with, “Gamma, I can do it on my own self.”
Ultimately, with twisted sleeves entangled on distorted arms, or a frustrated, “Grrr,” as he tried to cut his pancakes, he’d finally throw his hands in the air and say, “I can’t do it.” Of course he always waited until things were in a bigger mess, and he still didn’t ask for help. In heated desperation, he simply gave up.
Appropriate transparency, (not telling every person every detail, but sharing with trusted sources), often provides compassionate responses, helpful ideas, and supportive strength. I’ve seen it many times, where a person swallowed their pride, took a risk, and talked with someone they knew they could trust, only to discover unimagined answers to their problems, and relief from the pressure. It’s amazing what we can’t see when our emotions are smothering us in lies about the situation.
Whether we are struggling with personal finances, organizational debt, or business income and expense, fear and pride are not going to offer us solutions. However, a qualified mentor, coach, collegue, or friend might. Compassionate accountability works, and frees us to see things in a factual light, versus emotional darkness. When we are too close to a situation, it’s nearly impossible to assess the truth. But with a trusted source, there are ways to look at a difficult situation from different angles.
- We can brainstorm an extensive list of facts regarding this specific circumstance.
- We can dissect financial reports, and look for hidden drains stealing money, time, and energy. Conversely, we can look for ways to plug them.
- We can Storyboard the history that brought us to this place. Learning from our past, equips us to make wiser choices in our future.
- We can Mindmap possible paths away from failure, moving forward to fresh success.
- We can research marketing models together, feeding off of each other’s creative juices, arriving at ideas and resources we might have missed.
- We can pray together, asking God to open our eyes, so we can see solutions when problems are blocking our view. (Why we try to hide our issues from God is a mystery of the human condition, yet most of us do it. Honesty with God opens the door to supernatural answers.)
There are plenty of other ways transparency, an honest cry for help, and openness to someone else’s ideas can offer relief. But if you allow fear and pride to hold you prisoner, the opportunity is lost. Sometimes a small investment of courage is just the catalyst to dig you out of a hole no one else knows you’re in.
Don’t wait until you need a sign that says, “Closed for Business.” Don’t struggle to do it on your own self, until the pressures crush your spirit. Don’t deny the truth of your situation, until you throw your hands up in the air, and say, “I give.”
It’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith, but you have to let others know you need to start the process.
Are you dealing with a weight too heavy to bear? Do you need a coach, mentor, colleague, or friend’s help to guide you out of a mess?
Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Anita Fresh Faith
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Productivity Expert, Certified Training Facilitator, Communications Specialist, and national speaker. Anita is also the author of, First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. Now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, Lifeway, Christianbook.com, select Walmart’s, plus many fine stores, Christian and otherwise.
She’s a partner in The Zenith Zone, a business coaching firm. Member of the Christian Writer’s Guild, Toastmasters, and a client of WordServe Literary Group. A graduate of CLASSeminars for Leaders, Speakers, and Authors, a co-founder of The StoryWriting Studio, and speaker on circuit for Stonecroft International Ministries. Anita co-hosts a weekly podcast, Engaging Life and Leadership with Darren Dake, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and other podcast platforms.
Anita is passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. She travels the country teaching others from her personal experiences and research. She believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
Her favorite past time is lounging by a river or lake in Missouri, laughing with with her husband of thirty years, Ricky.