During the week I watched this clip about the ‘Sin of Self Sufficiency’ and I was drawn in by the title. I was like ‘what’s wrong with being self- sufficient?’ I like to be able to do stuff for myself. I’m independent. Nothing wrong with us women doing things for ourselves. I can have and do it all right? (Or as Oprah would say ‘You can have and do it all, just not at the same time.’) In fact, our society has become obsessed with self-promotion and working our way up to the top of the ladder. Is this a bad thing?
To hear what Sandra Crawford Williamson has to say about it all. Watch here
Let’s clear up a few things first.
:: I think it is great to be self-sufficient.
:: I think modern medicine is marvellous and I have no offence against doing what you have to do to be well. (Sandra mentioned she went the IVF route and for her it wasn’t right because she believed God called her to release this into his hands. I believe IVF is a great tool and that God uses it as well to bless people who wouldn’t be able to have babies. It’s an individual choice. I just want you to know I’m for modern medicine as much as I am pro alternative medicine. In fact, we saw a fertility specialist initially to get treatment. It’s just that it didn’t work for us so we sought alternative medicine purely because my mental health was taking a beating and by shifting to alternative medicine for me meant I was shifting the focus from getting pregnant to I’m healing my body).
:: I think that although I believe God intervenes in situations He often requires us to do some work too. He’s not some freakin’ magic genie.
Good. Got it?
The Oxford dictionary defines self-sufficiency as ‘needing no outside help in satisfying one’s basic needs. Emotionally and intellectually independent.’ And herein lays the dilemma. We’ve become so good at filling our own tank up that sometimes we haven’t got room to help others or to acknowledge we actually do need help ourselves. We fill our lives with climbing the corporate and social ladder that even when we get to the top, we still fill empty.
We look to the next thing to fill our void.
We buy the bigger house, get the better job, lose the extra 5 kilos…
But it’s never enough.
So how do we then create a healthy approach to self-sufficiency?
Here are 3 ways to Healthy Self-Sufficiency
:: RECOGNISE YOUR EMOTIONAL NEEDS
Write down and journal your answers to the following if it will help:
Why are you doing what you are doing when it comes to self sufficiency? Are you rising up the ladder to feel accomplished? If so, how can you get that feeling of accomplishment internally?
What does self sufficiency mean to you? Is it serving you appropriately right now?
What are your seeking traps? What are your patterns?
What 3 things can you do this week to break out of those patterns?
:: ACKNOWLEDGE WHEN YOU NEED HELP
For me, as a Christian it means don’t be afraid to ask and speak to God about the matter. (This is something I definitely need to work on). I am so quick to do things my way first. Without seeking. Without sinking into my intuition or to what the Holy Spirit is saying to me. I ‘save’ myself and look for solutions without really thinking about what God wants. Don’t be afraid to ask and check in with the Divine. Sometimes, even if it doesn’t make sense, the plan may be different. And even though this may freak you out at first, it’s actually way better than you initially planned. Although you may not know that now or even a few weeks down the track.
On top of that I would say don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. One thing I said before I had Flynn was to always ask for help if I needed it and not to turn people back when they wanted to help.
So many people wanted to make us meals when Flynn was born and you know what? I said “yes.” Having meals in the house made such a difference to us when we were sleep deprived and weepy! I made sure I hit the hospital button to ask for help with breast feeding even if initially I felt like I was being a pain. I needed help so I asked for it. Please don’t be afraid to ask. Your friends and family want to gift this to you and you are in fact taking that joy of them doing something for you away from them. (Of course if you’re milking it for way too long or someone is being overly pushy and wanting to help too much and you need your space, well that’s another story).
Please. Please ask for help when needed.
:: LOOK FOR WAYS YOU CAN HELP OTHERS
Don’t be so self-consumed, chanting your affirmations about how much you love yourself without having love for others. On the flip side of that I have seen clients who have helped others so much they forget themselves and that’s not going to help you be more self-loving either.
On the road to having that fulfilling career, how can you work effectively with others in your team?
How can you help that neighbour next door? (Really let’s face it, how many of us actually know our neighbour? Sadly I think self-sufficiency has affected our neighbourly connections but that’s a whole another blog post).
How can we actually perceive when something is going wrong in another person’s world and how can we best help them? (Cause often we ignore them because it seems too hard or we don’t know how we can help them. Or they’ve told us ‘they’re ok.’ Really are you sure about that?)
This week I want you to have a go at each of these 3 steps. You could do the first one by subscribing to my newsletter and completing the journal activities in the “Guide to Being Secure and Sure.” Stop and ask how you can ask for help when needed and look around you and be more vigilant with how you can best serve others. Even start writing these down in a journal and adding them up. One of my coaches got me to write every time ‘income’ would come in. Income meaning a friend bought me a coffee, a 2 for 1 voucher came in the mail, you got a tax return. The more I did this the more I realised how truly blessed I was and likewise the more you tune into how you are feeling and how you can look after yourself and then others you will see more opportunities coming your way.
I’d love to know how you go this week. Comment below about whether you think self-sufficiency is a good or bad concept and what we can do to address it in our everyday lives. Please share using the buttons below if you loved the post.
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