You’ve spent some time thinking through a group of people that will help you step into your potential, but now what? You need to ask them to help you. You are probably thinking to yourself how I often think about the idea of asking for help — “you’re nuts”! Yes and no. Asking for help from others in a society that tells you that you’ve only made it as an adult when you can take care of yourself, lean on yourself, just pull yourself up by your boot straps, and just work harder. These are all lies that keep you from entering into community with other people and building a strong village that will have your back no matter what.
“When you judge yourself for needing help, you judge those you are helping. When you attach value to giving help, you attach value to needing help. The danger of tying your self-worth to being a helper is feeling shame when you have to ask for help. Offering help is courageous and compassionate, but so is asking for help.”Brené Brown, Rising Strong
Spend some time considering why it is so difficult to ask others for help. Honor those feelings, sit with them, and then purposefully let that go. Life is too short to worry about how others see you because you are asking for help.
When you’re ready, we are going to start building your village with your key villagers. One of your villagers might be a close friend. We aren’t going to bank on the fact that they innately know how to be your best villager. We are going to be direct and clear in asking them to step into a specific part of your life.
So here’s step #1: Call out the gold. What does that mean? You obviously identified them for a specific purpose in your village. Now you just need to tell them what you see and what draws you to them. “Hey! I just wanted to let you know that I’m working on building a stronger community around me. You seem to always be optimistic and I need more of that in my life”. It’s that simple but powerful tool that is one the tale-tell signs if you are actually going to commit to our planning.
What does your village look like? Step #2: Set clear expectations for your villagers. The best way to approach this is to share and let others know what your expectation of your village is going to look like: the who, what, where, why, and when logistics of your village. You need to know what you are inviting them into before you do the inviting.
- Who? That’s the gold. The calling on a person because of who they are to others and who they are to you.
- What? What’s your plan? What role do you want that person to fill?
- Where? Where will this make a difference in your life? Where are you going to
- Why? Why is your village so important to you? Why do you need to take this next step?
- When? How often do you need to meet this person to learn and grow?
A wise woman once told me that the only thing that can fill in the gap from expectations not met and the reality of the situation is disappointment. There’s enough disappointment in our lives and the world around us, let’s just be extra clear on your expectations for your people. Because at this point if you don’t know my love for Brené Brown yet, let me just be clear: she’s one of favorites. A saying that she often shares is “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” We want to be clear and we want to be kind.
Step #3: Set quality, intentional goals with that person for the future. So we’ve identified the person, but then I’m not one for just stringing a person along without an end goal. What’s your idea of a successful village partnership look like? And then how do you see that impacting your future in the long haul? Think through the bigger vision and then make sure you share it with your villagers. They need the road map just as much as you do to help you get there.
And then celebrate…you are one step closer to building a stronger, more intentional community around you!