This one sounds like it’s going to be deep, right? It is that time of year for me: that time when the end of the year is closing in, and I start reflecting about everything I’d wanted to get done, what I actually got done, and what’s still left to do. And the shame cycle looms large…
It’s hard to bring ourselves to do something we know is important, but that we don’t know how to go about doing, and it feels like we should.
I envision someone at the breakfast table, coffee in hand, contemplating the day. “I really need to get this done. I can’t believe I haven’t done anything about it yet.” Subtly self-shaming herself for still not getting her estate planning done. This was supposed to be the year. The ‘babies’ are now the teenagers still asleep down the hall.
The good thing is that the year’s not over yet.
When we break our promises to ourselves, we lose confidence. Our belief in self erodes and we start to doubt our ability to do anything. It’s a horrible downward spiral. I know. I’ve been there. (Note to self: don’t forget that I said I would work out today.)
All this takes its toll on the soul.
I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to ask for help. For so many of us, myself included, asking for help can feel like weakness. And most of us simultaneously know that thinking is flawed. In fact, the aversion to asking for help is the weakness. What’s the old adage? If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.
If you’re stuck and not getting your planning done, ask yourself, “What’s the story in my head about this?” The answer may shed light on a path to take you out of your current despair. Can a chat with a friend help? Would sending an email to your friendly Main Street lawyer with a few clarifying questions get the ball rolling? (By the way, we’re always happy to receive and respond to those emails. Feel free to CLICK HERE and type away.)
Or are you the type of person who just needs to take that first step, and then have faith that all the pieces will unfold? If so, here’s a first step we recommend to all our clients: Your Unique Why Worksheet.
Once you’ve chosen that first small step to take, what kind of accountability do you need to make sure you do that one thing? Proclaim it to the ether? Make it ‘Facebook official’? Or is that one step still scary and unknown enough that more locked-in accountability is needed to overcome it? I find that the level of uneasiness with a task is directly proportionate to the strength of accountability necessary to accomplish the task.
Maybe you need an appointment with yourself to do the task. Or maybe you’re like me and need a phone date with a friend where, after a couple minutes of pleasantries, we’ve committed to spending the rest of the allotted time doing ‘The Thing’. We then spend the time working on what we’ve committed to, and report on our progress as we end the call (and schedule the next!)
I used to have a lot of shame around needing that level of support and accountability. But you know what I’ve found? By having a kind of ease and gentleness with myself to be okay with it, I’ve begun restoring my self-confidence. I’ve started to see my own natural rhythms around getting hard things done, and the result over time has been to need less and less of this kind of accountability. I’ve been slowly healing my soul of the self-inflicted knicks and scratches of shame.
If you want to learn more about how you uniquely work so you can get more done and have more meaning in your moments, I highly recommend the work of Dr. Sarah Reiff-Hekking of True Focus Coaching. Much of what I’ve written here is adapted from her teachings.
And if you want support around taking a first step toward finally getting your will and estate planning done, strengthening your confidence in self and ultimately healing your soul a bit, I’m here. Email me. Reach out through Facebook. Pick up the phone. Ask for a Planning Goals Discovery Session to learn what can be achieved through estate planning. Whatever you can get yourself to do, do that. We’ll support you every step of the way.