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Go Ahead, Ask for Help

Here's a 30-minute exercise to help you build your personal support system and achieve greater success.
May 13, 2009

One of the hardest lessons for me to learn--but one that changed my life profoundly--was the importance of asking for and receiving help.

As a career strategist, I work every week with mostly mid- to senior-level professionals from around the U.S. on career changes, launching new businesses and identifying, finding and creating work that is a fit for them inside and out.

Hands down, people who are comfortable asking for and receiving help--whether from a coach, therapist, mentor, professional organization, business partner or colleague--experience greater success and feel more connected and confident at home and at work.

Having a support system can have a huge impact on how you experience day-to-day life. Research shows that individuals who have robust support systems:

This month, I challenge you to give yourself the gift of support (one of the kindest forms of self-care). Set aside 30 minutes to work on the following exercise, designed to help you build your personal support network. Afterward, share your completed support wheel with a friend or family member, and take action.

Instructions: Draw a large circle and visualize yourself standing in the middle. Divide your circle--or "support wheel"--into four categories: self, work/community, family/marriage and household. Create your personal support network by filling in the four quadrants as needed. (Refer to the list below for ideas or come up with your own list.)

A few things to keep in mind when creating your support network:

Your personal support system is not limited to, but may include:

Renee Peterson Trudeau is president of Austin-based Career Strategists, a coaching/consulting firm dedicated to helping professionals and entrepreneurs navigate their career path successfully. Trudeau's work has been featured in US News and World Report, Working Mother, American Way, Family Circle, AARP and numerous business publications and consumer media. Trudeau is the author ofThe Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life.