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Assignment #3: Seek Support

One summer while hiking with my family, we reached a raging river. There was a log across the middle, submerged in the thigh-deep, freezing water. When it was my turn to cross, I stopped halfway. With my 50-pound backpack and the strong current throwing me off balance, I froze in fear. After a few moments, I realized I could ask for help—and I did. In an instant my husband and son picked me up off of the log and carried me to safety. All I had to do was ask!

That realization empowered me to change my own life and become a life coach. Asking friends, family, colleagues, professional coaches or others for the assistance and support you need is a critical part of making life changes—not to mention just making it through the day. Get out a piece of paper or turn on your computer; you have some writing to do!

  • Write down two examples of instances when you asked for helpat work or at home and it was beneficial.
  • Write down two examples of instances when you didn’t ask for help and realized later that it would have been beneficial.
  • Name a situation you will ask for help with, professionally or personally.
  • Write a letter asking for the help you need. It may be to your husband and children asking them to pitch in around the house. Maybe it’s to a mentor asking for advice. Let them know that you’d like to check in with them on your progress. And don’t wait too long to send it; you don’t want to get stuck in the river.
  • Who makes up your support system? Draw a circle in the center—that’s you. Then draw circles around you, one for each family member, friend and colleague who’s cheering you on. Store this image somewhere in your mind or come back to the page when you’re frustrated, tired or discouraged. Knowing you’re not alone lifts a tremendous weight.

Assignment #4: Give Thanks

Joyce, a 56-year-old nurse working with a company that handles workers’ compensation claims, found herself in tears almost daily. Her days were overwhelming and she also had several extended family members, including a small child, living with her. She had no space of her own at work or at home. One thing that helped her start turning things around was focusing on what she was thankful for: her beautiful house and her good health.

When you take a moment to remember the things you’re grateful for, all the things that you’re not grateful for slide away and you get the psychological boost you need to start initiating change. Here, two things you can do to pump up your gratitude:

1. Before getting out of bed, write down 10 things you’re grateful for.

2. Stop to savor one thing every day—start small. Stay in the shower for a few extra seconds or take a moment to appreciate the smell of your morning coffee before your first sip.

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