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Who Do You Count on? Who Counts On You?

What kind of support do you count on? Do you have support? Need some? Get some! How? Read and take notes.

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Week 8 (of 12) of Soul University’s Holiday Blues Busters Series.

Class Transcript

How do we create, maintain, and grow ongoing support so that we can have a most memorable year after year? To frame this whole concept of support, I challenge you to think of one thing you need no support in doing. I challenge you to come up with one thing that you can do without the support of anyone else, anything else at all.

What’s one thing you can do with no support from anyone or anything? It’s a trick question, because in all reality, absolutely everything I do, and I will throw this bold statement out there, everything you do, requires support. From the most simple, basic, taking a breath, requires the support of all sorts of organisms to create the air that I breathe.

To live, I can’t begin to put my finger on the hundreds of thousands of lives that I require to support me. When I stop and I think of all the people involved in creating the food I eat. The clothes I wear. The electricity I use. The water I drink. The roads I walk on. The planes I fly in.

When I stop and consider what I might just take for granted. My health. My reality check is I’m being supported every minute of every day, hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of people, every minute of every day. People who produce my food, water and clothes. So the illusion that I need no support crumbles. When I recognize that I need support from people I’ll probably never even meet in my life. So let’s dive deeper into this topic of support. How do we create and maintain and grow ongoing support so that we can co create good health, good wealth, and ample wisdom?

Let’s start first with examining the concept of support. On a piece of paper, I’d like you to draw two lines. The first line is a scale of 1 to 10. One being something, ten being something. One might be poor, ten might be great. Whatever your ranking system is. Write it down.

And the first line, I want you to score yourself on when it comes to asking for support. Where would you rank yourself? If you do a ten point scale, one being terrible, ten being great. Overall, how would you rank yourself when it comes to asking for help? Asking for support. And be honest. This is for your eyes only.

I recognize that this answer, this score, will change from day to day, time to time, issue to issue. I understand all that. I’m talking about on average, when it comes to asking for support, where do you rank yourself? The second line, same scale, 1 to 10, again you come up with your own definitions, but whatever those definitions are, where do you rank yourself when it comes to receiving support?

You might think I’m saying the same thing twice, but I’m not. It’s one thing to ask for support. I can ask for your support. But if the type of support you’re going to offer me is the kind of support that I don’t know that I can receive or I don’t want are you really offering support?

Again, I understand that the way you answer and score yourself is going to change from moment to moment, issue to issue. But overall, by and large, when it comes to receiving support, when someone offers you support from something as mundane as paying the bill at a meal? Or opening a door? Or letting you go at the intersection when you know it should be the other person’s turn to go through the intersection. All these little, tiny little things of support. Where do you rank yourself on receiving support?

Your two scores are a window to what kind of teachers you’ll need to be comfortable asking for and receiving support for yourself. But also for providing support to others. Over the years in my private practice, a common theme that I’ve noticed with families, members, friends, colleagues, students, clients, and in myself initially, is it seems really easy to give.

We’re taught it’s better to give than receive, right? How many times have we heard that? It’s better to give than receive. No. Think about this. Something as simple as a breath. I have to breathe in before I can breathe out. I have to receive the air first so that I have what it takes to breathe the air out.

My point? Imbalance. More often than not, folks are more than happy to give. And they’ll give to the point of harming themselves, and this is something we talked about in our last segment.

If you missed our last segment about the post holiday sigh of relief with an extreme self care tip of learning how to say no, I recommend you go listen to that one. Asking for support may mean you stop supporting other people for a while. And focus on yourself.

Which leads to our first discussion topic. Let’s explore what successful people do from a characteristical standpoint. When you think of someone who is successful, and I please beg you to think of someone who is successful well beyond what they may have in a bank account. How much land they might own. How much power they may have. I’m talking about success in the form that when that person dies, there is going to be a lot of people attending that funeral.

So with your piece of paper and a pencil, when you think of someone who is successful, what are those traits? What are those characteristics? Are they happy people? Generous people? Honest people? People who cut to the chase? What types of characteristics do you like in other people? And does that make them successful in your eyes?

What I’m doing is I’m beginning to build an ingredients list here. Because as we step into building a solid supportive team, it’s helpful to know what ingredients you want in that team. Just like a cookbook that starts out with ingredients to be able to cook a fabulous meal, we need our ingredients list.

Step one, take some time and list what are those characteristics, what are those dynamics that you think successful people have.

Now, step two? Sharing our wealth in all forms. Let me reframe this concept of sharing wealth. I practice this notion of balance in my life; such that when I ask for support. When I ask for assistance, I’m very conscious of who I’m asking. What I’m asking them to do. And I’m also very conscious that if at all possible, I would be able to return the same favor for them.

I would share my resources in the same way that I am asking to share their resources. Now, granted, if I ask someone to perform surgery on me and I don’t know how to perform surgery, obviously, I’m going to be asking them to do something that I will have to reciprocate with some other type of support, like paying their bill.

Sharing wealth means balance. When I ask for support, I better be willing to offer that support. It may not be to the same person. Someone who might help me out because I’m stranded on the roadside, and I need to get to the gas station and get some gas. That person may help me out. That person may not need any gas. I may not see that person ever again in my life. However, I may just pick up someone on the side of the road a day, a week, a month, a year later who needs a ride to the gas station.

Sharing our wealth. When it comes to sharing, again, I ask you to look at how balanced are you? Do situations occur where sharing so much time, so much money, so much energy has jeopardized your life in some way? Sharing wealth means striking that balance.

So homework assignment number two on building a good support team, is talking about balance with people. What does that look like, feel like, sound like? So as we get into building a solid supportive team process, and before we open up the lines for questions about this information, building a solid supportive team begins with you being solid and supportive of yourself.

Do you drink enough water every day to the point to where you have to go to the bathroom about every hour? You cleanse your body out of the toxins that are in our daily life. That’s supporting yourself. Do you get enough rest every day? When you wake up in the morning, do you feel rested? If not, there’s an area of growth. You might need some support there. You might need support in the form of telling people, No! I gotta go to bed.

Building a solid, supportive team starts with you being solid and supportive. So what are those things you do need support in? The beginning of the year — one of the most common things we talk about at the beginning of the year? Oh, I gotta get healthier. I can remember when I was close to 325 pounds, yeah, New Year’s resolutions, year after year, oh, I’m gonna drop the weight, I’m gonna drop the weight.

Until I realized that the people who I needed support from, needed to be supportive of themselves in becoming healthier. I didn’t know I was sabotaging myself because I would ask people to support me in my process of becoming more healthy. And the only way they knew how to comfort me or how to support me was keeping me fed on things that I really shouldn’t be eating.

That wasn’t helpful.

Building a successful, solid, supportive team. Step number one: what are those traits; what are those characteristics you think apply to successful people? Write them down. And when you write those lists of characteristics, how many of those characteristics do you practice? Put a checkmark by those. If there are characteristics of successful people that you’ve written down that you can’t honestly check off for yourself, that’s where you need some support in. You’ve identified a space to learn and grow in.

Item two? Balance in sharing what you can share. Knowing how to say no when you usually say yes. These are the steps that it takes to build a successful support team.

I’ll close with the fact that, as the author of Pay Me What I’m Worth, Chapter 5, How Worth Grows, is all about how to build really solid, successful relationships, starting with the person staring back at you in the mirror.

All right, that’s it. Lecture time is done. Time to get into our conference call classroom. Registered members for this class series will explore — more — the information that you just experienced in this lecture.

To register for the series, click the links at the bottom of the page. Follow the registration instructions to join us for our weekly, live, lively, conference call classroom. Get ready for some wonderful laughs, some ah hahs all from the comfort of your phone.

I look forward to meeting you and to being of service. And now, time for class.

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Marsha: I want to welcome our audience. My name is Marcia Sortino. I will be your host tonight. I welcome the audience to sit back, relax, and enjoy the discussion. We are discussing how to create and maintain awesome support. You just heard a lecture about maintaining and creating an awesome support system. And so the first question I have for the audience is how do we create and maintain and grow a support system?

What’s the one thing that we can do in order to create that support system for ourselves. Obviously, we have to have relationships, that’s for sure. How many of you out there are creating those kind of relationships where you can just, at a drop of a hat, call somebody for help?

I know for me, I’ve had moments where I have been in situations where I have not known what to do. I have been stuck. There’s only a few people that I know that I can rely on in my life. I wonder how many of you have had that experience yourself? There was one question in that lecture that really, I had to ponder, because he said it was a trick question. And that question was, what is one thing you can do all by yourself without any support? And of course the answer is, I can’t do something all by myself without support because everything that I do has some support to it, whether it’s breathing or talking or walking.

There is an organism that’s helping me to do all these activities. I really took a look at that idea and said if I were to try and think of one thing that I could do all by myself without support? I’d have to be beating my head over something, because I wouldn’t be able to find the answer to that.

That’s a, a paradox in some ways.

Kareem: See, this is an interesting question, because I would say yes and no. I’d say there’s some things, like breathing, eating, I need support from nature. I need support from my body. But then there’s other aspects where sometimes I have to rely on myself to get things done. And it can become difficult to really see, do I need support in this position? Can I hold on my own? And sometimes some things are just out of my control. So what am I going to do?

Marsha: I understand where you’re coming from with that. I actually had an experience a couple of days ago where I had to literally take time out of my day to do something that I shouldn’t have had to do. Normally I would not have had to do it. But I had no choice because I had discovered that the… retrieval line where I retrieve messages for my group? That box was filled so nobody else could leave messages. And I discovered that when I had somebody call me to tell me they couldn’t leave a message and that’s why they called me. And the point is, if I didn’t take those messages right then and there, that box would still be full.

But it caused a little bit of a chaos for me because my whole day seemed like it got completely thrown off. And I think about that whole idea of, gee, I’m giving all my time here. Now my day’s been thrown off because I had plans to finish something. And I couldn’t do that because I had to take those messages off. But before I could take those messages off, I had to write them all down. I had to make sure I had the dates and the time because it, it all has to be recorded for tax purposes. And I thought to myself, wow this took three hours out of my day. And then put together an email. It was upsetting. I thought about, wow, am I giving more time than I need to because it’s affecting what I need to. It’s actually at a point now where, it’s starting to harm me.

Now I have to take a look at that situation. Because even though it’s voluntary work, it’s starting to affect my work now. So it threw me off that day and I actually sent an email and said, I can’t have this happening. I only listen to the messages once a week. I had to learn to say no! I did not feel guilty whatsoever in sending that message.

Because I know that for the most part, if I don’t take care of my needs first? The lecture told us, I have to breathe first. If I don’t take that breath first, then I won’t be able to breathe. That was my experience last week. But it was something that I felt, wow, I had no choice in the matter. When I feel like I have no choice in the matter, that throws me off!

Kareem: Yeah, I can relate.

Marsha: It’s a give and take thing with support. There’s a give and take that has to happen, it seems, to have that balance with support. So do you have any stories around anything like that? Any kind of situation that’s happened to you where you felt that you were thrown off balance?

Kareem: Interestingly enough, I’m not going to name any names. Me and an individual will talk a lot, about having a successful online business. But, when it comes to put skin in the game, one side is lacking, let’s say. And it gets frustrating.

Marsha: So how are you dealing with it though? Are you able to say no? Are you able to draw that line in the sand for yourself? Make those boundaries so that you’re giving to yourself and you’re not just giving to the other person all the time. Throwing yourself off balance?

Kareem: What I did was this. I said, hey, since I’m going all in with these projects, I need to get everything back first. Everything back first. And then, maybe even a little bit more. And then, we can discuss A, B, and C. If that makes sense.

Marsha: It makes sense and that really rolls into the whole concept of relationships and teamwork.

Kareem: But here’s the problem. You don’t sit there and be like, I’m gonna let this guy carry it all and then give him most the reward. That wouldn’t be okay.

Marsha: So you’re setting up your boundaries then for yourself, correct?

Kareem: Yeah. When I start to generate some stuff, there ain’t none of this 50 50. I’m gonna make sure I get everything back.

Marsha: So Kareem, have you clearly communicated your feelings?

Kareem: I explained, here’s the plan, here’s why, here’s what I’m doing. They weren’t so happy about it. I’m like, look, this is how it is. And, you know what, for what it’s worth, I don’t know if they liked it. I can’t do anything about it.

Marsha: There’s a lot of people that don’t like it when they see change in you. I’ve discovered that myself. That change is a threatening thing for some people. When the minute they see that you’re changing, they get that feeling that it’s a threat. They’re losing you somehow. If you can understand that, then you can just let it go. That’s pretty much how I deal with it.

Let’s do that exercise. Because the whole concept to me of balance, and the fact that everything in our world is supporting us. That is so true. The clothes I have on somebody made. The food that I’m eating, somebody made or somebody grew. It took the earth to let that food grow for us.

We’re all connected. There’s a connection to everything that we have in this universe. Everything. And that whole concept, that whole idea of being independent, it crumbles when I explore that concept. Because independent or interdependent, isn’t it that we’re interdependent rather than independent?

We always want to think that we’re independent. I want to be independent. In all reality, we can’t be just independent. We are interdependent on everything for our support. This planet supports us. The sun supports us. Water supports us. We’re interdependent with each other for support. And there are times that when it comes to giving and receiving, that can be thrown off balance quickly.

Especially if I don’t put my boundaries for myself. And give to myself first so that I’m able to support myself and have my needs met, that can be thrown off balance. I don’t know about you, but for me, it took me a while to actually learn that because that concept of giving and receiving. It’s better to give than to receive. That was strongly ingrained in me. I don’t know when. Childhood? And I always believed that. I always believed that if I didn’t give, that I would be considered a bad person. I felt bad. I felt guilty if I said no, I felt guilty. How about you? How did you feel?

Kareem: I can understand that. Supports a two way street. Because I have to have enough confidence to support myself. My surroundings have to have enough confidence to support me. Everything works on everything else. I think that’s the one thing I’ve learned from Pay Me What I’m Worth. Everything’s connected to everything else. When we start believing in the disconnect, that’s when the problem happens.

Marsha: I was just going to ask you, so since you’ve been with Pay Me What I’m Worth, before Pay Me What I’m Worth, let’s do a before and after. Before taking the journey on Pay Me What I’m Worth, how did you score yourself on a scale of 1 to 10? How did you rank yourself? 1 being low and 10 being high. For the question of asking for support. How did you score yourself in asking for support? Were you able to ask for support easily or was it more difficult? One would be difficult and ten would be easy.

Kareem: I was probably like a two or a three before. And then after I was probably like a nine or a ten. I don’t know how to do something, I get help now. Either find the right person or the right person finds me. I don’t have to figure it all out, and I’m okay with that. Now, problem I had before was, in that program — I feared to get support. If I reached out to the wrong person or if I didn’t reach out at all then, I would feel awkward or weird.

Marsha: How has it changed now, your score? Was it 2 or 3 and then you took the journey with us? And, what’s your score now?

Kareem: It went to a 9 or 10. If I don’t know how to do something and I can’t figure it out, I’m getting frustrated, I ask for help. That doesn’t mean I don’t try. Don’t get me wrong. But, when I try and do everything I can and then I say, hey. It’s okay to ask for help. Everybody does it. I’m not special.

Marsha: Okay. It’s funny because I scored myself high in being able to ask for help because of the fact that I really had to accept the fact that I needed the help when I first started. But it’s funny because now as I’ve been going through this journey it’s almost become a sort of a paradox for me. I want to really be able to see what I can do on my own without having to ask for support. I don’t know if my score is changing or not because I don’t want to have to go backwards because I’m starting to make progress. But I didn’t make that progress until I got on the journey with Pay Me What I’m Worth. I literally went from no money to making some money. I don’t want to go backwards. And yet it’s almost like a paradox because I want to make sure that if I need to ask for support, I can get support. It’s weird! To me I’m really exploring that whole feeling in a whole idea right now. So let’s go to the next one. What about when it comes to receiving support. On a scale of 1 to 10, where do you rank yourself with that?

Kareem: See, I have to say I’m still a nine or ten. Because if I’m gonna offer my support, then I’m gonna need to be able to receive it in the same capacity. I’m confident to go to someone now and say, I can do these services, I can help you in this way. If you can help me in this way, and then generally most people are either interested or not. It’s not something that I’m scared to do or I can’t do.

Marsha: If I’m hearing you correctly, Kareem, what you’re really saying right now is that you’re creating that relationship with another person. A balanced relationship.

Kareem: Yes. It especially changed when we left MMS. Because it felt like getting off one little block, one little island and saying, I’m going to go exploring and see what’s out there. I’m going to try and make my own island and try and do my own thing.

Marsha: That’s interesting that you bring up the concept of being an island. That sounds like you want to be independent. So where does that balance come in, where you’re independent, but at the same time, you know that there’s an interdependence that has to happen?

Kareem: To use the island analogy, I’m working on the island, but I still need… help from the water. ’cause I could be the hosting company. I still need help from my, friends and people to support. Not a one man army, but I can get it done with some help from my friends.

Marsha: In the lecture did you hear where there was a part that said to list characteristics of successful people? What characteristics do you think that successful people have? I think my list is changing a little bit as I’ve experienced more and more in life. The basic characteristics that I look for are honesty. People who are honest and dependable. Those characteristics that I admire in successful people.

Kareem: Honesty and open mindedness. When I meet someone, I want them to be upfront. Not giving every detail. But who they are, see what they’re about, and then I’ll break it down. And I also want open mindedness, meaning maybe I do something different, and they see something different, or there’s a different way of doing things. And that’s not to say we can’t look and see how to do things better. But ultimately, the experience is where I’m coming from. I can be open to theirs.

Marsha: Somebody who’s open and is honest are the characteristics you admire. Have you looked in the mirror to see if those are the characteristics you have also?

Kareem: Funny enough I looked at that and I said a lot of people, including myself, I said I speak my mind. Generally, most of the times, I’m a no BS guy. I try to do my best to be open minded. Now, if someone’s hurting other people or doing something bad, then I’m not going to say, Okay, that’s fine. Everybody has the right to, but other than that… I am open-minded to see what anybody else is doing, thinking where they’re coming from, how they’re doing it. And I’ve been criticized for being too open-minded, which I disagree with.

Marsha: So when you say open minded, you mean somebody who is an observer? You are an observer.

Kareem: No. Someone who’s willing to listen, get feedback, and hear other people’s experiences and try and reconcile with their own. I would say it’s a listener and a feedback provider. Someone who says, “Oh, okay, I remember where you’re coming from.” Or if I don’t know where you’re coming from, I listen and try and understand their experience. I can’t always have the experiences they’ve had. I can listen to them and get some wisdom.

Marsha: True. That’s true.

Kareem: Maybe I can give them some. The problem is when people say, “Oh, you believe that!” Or, the opposite would be someone, my religion says, or my political party says . . .

Marsha: Let me ask you something, Kareem since you’ve been on this journey in Pay Me What I’m Worth, has any of your perspectives changed at all?

Kareem: Yes.

Marsha: Interesting. Do you want to share some?

Kareem: Definitely. The biggest one is, instead of trying to figure it all out. Just explore. When I explore, I’ll figure it all out. It’ll all fall into place. And I start to see the universe, I’m like, oh. I don’t know what’s going to happen at this show, or this speech, or whatever I’m doing. It all falls into place, even if I don’t know how it’s going to fall into place. It all falls into place. And on a spiritual level, I’m like, oh, I’m connected to everything. I’m conscious of everything, and I don’t need to… worry about this label and that label. I would call it a connection with my higher self. What am I here to do? As opposed to what I was thinking before. Oh, let’s sign up a bunch of people in this program. Or let’s get a bunch of people to this so I can make a bunch of money. So it’s spiritual perspective.

Marsha: There’s more of a spirituality that you’re looking for now, since Pay Me What I’m Worth, right? Is that right?

Kareem: Honestly, it’s something I discovered. I’m like, oh, I’m connected to everybody else. And I don’t have to worry about this age, gender… Labels. Everything I’ve seen about race, this, that, and you, and I’m like, no, none of that matters. At the core, everybody’s infinite possibility. Infinite love, and all I have to do is tap into that and allow it. I would say that’s the third thing, allowing.

And I’m not picking on anybody, but there’s people around me who I can observe them holding on and saying, “I gotta control every aspect of why I did. What I did”. I’m gonna allow when things fall into place.

Marsha: Allowing is actually a form of receiving.

Kareem: Yes. Allowing is exploring, really. The problem I have with the people around me that… I’ll talk to them and I’ll say: “Why are you afraid to do this experience?” And they’re like, “Oh my God! I control every variable.” I know for a fact in life you can’t control everything.

Marsha: Oh, yeah. Have you ever pondered how much of that controller is in me. Because I think that controller in me that won’t let me allow. Or won’t let me receive So, so many times I look at my controllerand go, “You don’t get to come in today, sorry.” And of course that goes back to doubt, shame, guilt and worry. Because the controller has a way of talking to me sometimes. Wanting to point out things that, “No! You don’t want to do that.” Or, “No! You shouldn’t do that, because this might happen.” And honestly, when I put my controller at bay, I tell it to go to sleep. And it really helps me to get through the rest of my day.

So what does supporting yourself mean to you, Kareem? What do you do to give to yourself and support yourself? What is the most important thing that you do for yourself, do you think?

Kareem: The interesting thing about support, like we were just talking, is, I would say, the same force, this is going to sound out there — that makes everything around me will take care of me.

Marsha: You don’t do anything special I know you exercise, so I would say that’s pretty much giving to yourself. It’s one of the things you do. Not everybody exercises.

Kareem: Yeah. I eat healthy and I exercise. I would say the biggest thing. I do though, in retrospect is, I allow the experiences to come in.

Marsha: Nice.

Kareem: And by doing that I get a bunch of different things coming in. That’s the biggest thing I can do for myself.

Marsha: Perfect.

Kareem: I can tell everybody nothing is working out for me. Just allow experiences to come in. Flow equals go. Stuck equals go. People are like, “No. I gotta make a million dollars now! Get that girlfriend! And that thing.” Okay.

Marsha: What you’re talking about is allowing and being in your power rather than being in a force and trying to force life to happen for you. We have to just allow it to happen and let it unfold for us. Just be grateful and in the moment. And that seems to bring joy. That brings more joy into my life when I allow, rather than trying to force something to happen for myself.

Because it’s a relaxing feeling. It’s being in that peace zone for myself. I think those are a lot of the great lessons that I really learned through this Pay Me What I’m Worth journey. Not just in the concept of it, but actually living it. I think that was major for me. And I never even knew what balance was.

That whole question, is it better to give than receive? Boy, did that throw me for a loop. I really had to take a look at how much I was actually giving versus how much I was actually giving to myself. I wasn’t including myself in the giving, really. I was giving more than I was actually receiving for myself. And I think that’s what the whole journey for me, it really taught me about balance. Balance is just such a great thing to have in life.

Once I have more for myself, I actually have more to be able to give to others. And that whole concept of sharing the wealth in that balance comes into play for me. That makes so much sense to me now. Kareem. I want to thank you for joining us on this call.

I want to thank the audience for listening in. I hope you enjoyed every bit of the discussion here. We have a discussion every week. And this call and next week we will be discussing solid stress management skills. So if you are free and available to listen in, you are welcome to listen in. I want to thank everybody for coming on the call and have a wonderful week.

Join us in this series to enjoy the holidays with much less stress and a lot more fun. Click to register.

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