A Single Beam Cannot Support A Great House

“A single beam cannot support a great house.”  This Chinese proverb is a reminder to me that I cannot go it alone; that I need the support of family, friends and colleagues to achieve my life goals and dreams.

I am a self-confessed “control freak” and over the years have had to learn when and how to let go.  For many years, I held  projects, tasks and responsibilities close, not sharing or asking for help.  I mistakenly believed that by doing so, I was being responsible and making myself invaluable.  The reality is I was hindering relationship development and stressing myself out, two situations that are not healthy from either a personal or a professional standpoint.

I wish I could say I have learned every lesson there is to learn about “letting go” but the truth is I am still on that journey of change.  Three changes I have made along the way and want to share with you today include:

Realizing that I should not always be right, even when I am.  Some of the best life lessons I learned were as a result of consequences suffered because of poor choices.  Sometimes, in our desire to help others, we control or manipulate situations to shield others from the consequences of poor decisions or actions on their part.  If their decision is not going to cause significant harm to you, to them or to your business, let them learn from their mistakes.   

Realizing that I should not always be right, even when I am.  No, that’s not a typo. There are very few situations where there is only one right answer or only one way to achieve a goal or complete a task.  When we insist that things be done “our way” even when another way will achieve the same objective, we stifle the creativity, enthusiasm and morale of those around us.

Together everyone achieves more.  I don’t know where I got the idea that I shouldn’t need help.  The need to be excellent all the time, in every way was mentally and emotionally exhausting, not to say impossible.  The reality is I am NOT superwoman.   By identifying my areas of strength and then asking for help in other areas, both I and those around me have achieved success more often.

A single beam cannot support a great house. It takes a network of beams to keep the roof from falling in.  Watch out for your roof.  You can’t hold everything up by yourself.  Build your support network, both personally and professionally.  Shoulder the weight and celebrate the success … together.

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