Yesterday I did something kind of scary.
I invited 6 incredible women friends over to help me read through the manuscript of my new book.
Several of these women have had their own struggles with food and weight so they could provide great feedback, based on their own experiences.
The reason why this was scary was because while I’ve been working on this book for a long time, I have not asked anyone else to read it.
So I felt really vulnerable.
I had no idea how my manuscript would be received. Of course, I was besieged by doubt as to whether it was any good at all.
I’ve simply been too close to the book to know.
So I was afraid of how it would read, if they’d like it, if I’d like it, if any of it would even make sense.
The good news is that these wonderful women gave me tremendously positive feedback. A few cried at several points, because they were touched by what they read. (That sure was affirming!)
We only got through chapter 5, so we will meet again to continue reading. But what I experienced today taught me some important lessons.
- I can’t go it alone.
One of the hardest things for emotional eaters to accept is that they can’t handle their problem on their own. This is certainly true for me, regarding my book. No matter how much time I spend reading, re-writing and editing my book, I can’t detect all the changes that need to be made. But this is true in life, in general. When I’m too close to my problems I can’t truly understand how to solve them. And when I’m stubbornly insisting that only I can fix them, I’m even more handicapped. Acknowledging that I need help, and then asking for that help, opens me up to solutions I could never have produced on my own.
- If I ask my friends for help, they will show up.
I know it’s crazy, but often I think that if I ask for help, no one will show up. Even when it comes to my friends, who are sweet and generous, and to whom I’ve been helpful, I doubt whether they’ll actually be willing to help me. This is old stuff, of course, the feeling that I’m not worthy of help, even from my friends. Thankfully, I asked anyway, and they came. But it showed me that I could trust that I am worthy of receiving help from others. And I need to be willing to ask, even when there’s no guarantee that they will. But true friends will.
- My friends also benefit by helping.
How wonderful it was to witness my friends enjoying the experience of gathering together to help me. Some friends were meeting each other for the first time. They all came together with a desire to help, so there was a sense of goodwill and love in the room throughout the day. We all took a break to eat lunch together, which was equally fun. I was so grateful for the help I received, but equally gratified that my friends all seemed to appreciate the opportunity to help. I was reminded once again that when we ask for help, we give others the gift of feeling good about helping.
- There is magic in community.
The collective mind, otherwise known as a mastermind alliance, a term coined by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich, is both powerful and magical.
Here’s how Hill refers to this mastermind principle:
“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
Hill goes on to say:
“No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].”
When people come together to work on a project, not only is each person’s mind working, but there is a third mind that is engaged…illuminating ideas and solutions. To experience this mastermind effect, while in community with others, is something to behold. This is just another example of why going it alone is limiting, and joining forces with others can be astounding.
I feel so blessed that my friends were there to support me. They were such a big help, and made me feel so loved. I pray that I always remember these important lessons about asking for help, trusting my friends to be there, the reciprocal benefit of helping others, and the power of a mastermind.