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How come “No one can be fearless alone”?

This title quote is by Rhonda Britten*. It is one of my favorite quotes from her, and also one over which I trip most often. I trip over it when fear is running my life again, making asking for help seem to be either hard or awkward – “Surely I can do (whatever it is) on my own, I should be able to figure this out, after all, YouTube has a video on how to do just about everything.” That’s what fear tells me.

Then I remember something my mom used to tell me and how in my early 20’s I figured out it wasn’t really true. Mom used to say, “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” What I figured out is that what she meant was, “If you want it done your way, do it yourself.” I would never do my own dental work, even if I had that degree. I have no interest in learning how to fix my car – and that is work I definitely want done right! – so I hire that work out.

The self-made man seems to be an ideal in American culture, and yet it really doesn’t exist. It is a misnomer. A self-made person is really someone who never let the ignorance or pettiness of others stop them while they continued to pursue what they believed in and found the needed help along the way. There is a huge difference between not believing the nay-sayers and simply doing something alone. People who start with nothing and build huge companies do not do it alone since part of what makes it a huge company is that there are employees. And what are employees? Helpers who get part of the work done that is needed for the whole project to move forward. Sooner or later, big ideas require the effort of more than 1 person in order to grow.

Sometimes the help is in the form of a mentorship – learning what to do from someone who has already done something similar. Other times the help comes from someone to take care of basic steps to free the visionary for the bigger tasks of determining next steps. Or it could be someone with a specific skill; such as an accountant or a lawyer. Either way, the company is not being built by 1 person.

My study with the Fearless Living Institute** has helped me learn other forms of help that humans need in order truly to thrive: moral support and friendship. I used to think friendship was a bit of a fluke and was grateful for those I had, and seemed to have no idea that I could consciously cultivate more if I wanted to. Something else Rhonda says is, “Connection is up to you.” In other words, if I’m feeling lonely or left out, it’s up to me to speak first.

I like to think of speaking first in the same way I do when asking for help. I remind myself that I always feel honored when someone speaks to me or asks me for help, so why would I withhold that from someone else? If I think of it as a gift, it is much easier for me to do.

Now, this doesn’t mean I always get the help I want from the first person I ask, any more than I am always interested and able to help everyone that asks me for help, none-the-less, it feels good to be asked – detaching from the outcome can be the topic of a future blog. The point is for me to be willing to take the lead in my own life: if I want help, ask for it; if I want to talk to someone, talk to them; if I change my mind, that’s fine, just be sure to renegotiate with anyone to whom I may have made a commitment. In other words, treat others as I would like to be treated. I like having someone randomly start talking to me, so I can do that with others. I like being asked for help, so I can ask when I need it.

My point is, humans are designed for connection and we need it to thrive. Therefore, we need to learn how to reach out to seek those connections. For me, the tools in Fearless Living are what I needed in order to understand this process. Learning and practicing these skills has had such a hugely positive impact on my life that I want to share this with others; that is why I became a Certified Fearless Living Coach (CFLC). Even as a coach, I don’t do it alone. I have my support team in place and I call on them for help.

Do you have a support team? “No one can be fearless alone.” Get help, build your team. A CFLC can help you do that and there are many of us.

* Fearless Living: Live Without Excuses, Love Without Regret