What does independence mean to you?

My whole life I have valued independence.  So much that I used it as a tool to get love.  I used to think that if I could “make it on my own” I would be perceived as strong.  I felt that if I didn’t “need anything,” then I would never be seen as weak and that would keep me safe. I saw independence as freedom, two values that conjointly get celebrated every 4th of July.

As I got older, I started to see there was a flip side to this value. Being as independent as I was caused me to never really figure out how to ask for what I need. My “lone ranger” belief that I have to do everything myself in order to prove my worth began to take a toll on my life.  Relationships suffered, my business began to suffer, my health suffered and my overall happiness suffered.  There was a whole lot of suffering going on!

In seeking help for this pain, every coach, therapist and friend seemed to ask me the same question… “what is it that you need??” I would look at them in stunned silence and think to myself… “I don’t know!”  It was a wake up call. After all these years could I really NOT KNOW what I needed?  Wow.  It was time to reassess my modus operandi.

I began to see that if I truly wanted to succeed and get to the next level of life, it was time to not only figure out what I need but to learn to ASK for it.  The whole concept scared the crap out of me!  But there was no other choice.  I couldn’t deny that there were many things that I needed and the only way I was going to get them was to ask!

So I mustered up the courage and began the adventure of asking.  Still on the ride, I can honestly say that it has been one of the biggest challenges I have had to face in my adult life.  Sounds crazy but it’s true.  But, as I began to face my fears and ask for what I needed, I actually began to feel more freedom than ever before. Here are a few things I have learned:

  1. Most people are generous and giving.
  2. Every NO is one step closer to a YES.
  3. Don’t give up, just keep asking!
  4. Asking isn’t as scary as I thought.

So I invite you on this Independence Day weekend to find your freedom by doing something that pushes you out of your comfort zone.  Then celebrate your liberation.

Happy Independence Day!

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