Why working parents need their ‘village’

Navigating through change isn’t always easy, and good support is essential. Business consultant and coach Olivia Rowan explains why it’s good to lean on your village when the going gets tough.

Let’s be honest, it’s not always easy making changes, is it? When making changes it can be really beneficial to get support from others, and who better to assist than your ‘village’?

We sometimes delay making the changes we want (or need) to make because we are fearful of what it really looks like on the other side; or sometimes, it just feels easier to maintain the status quo.

Or perhaps you have been brave and started to make changes (which is a great first step!),  but you’ve realized that managing the change and keeping the momentum seems difficult, despite knowing you really want it.

Does any of this resonate?

Changes can be big or small, well planned or unexpected, desired or forced upon us; and can be related to our work, family, health, finances, and many other elements of our life. Whatever the type of change and whatever stage you’re at in the journey, it can be tough to manage. But don’t think you need to go through it by yourself.

Your ‘village’ (aka your ‘inner circle’) are your ‘people’ who encourage you, listen to you without judgment, and support you unconditionally along your life journey during the good times and bad — including through times of change.

Commonly, your ‘village’ includes your partner, family, friends, and colleagues — but don’t think that membership is automatic to the people who have known you the longest, who you see most regularly, or who you feel obliged to consult. The essential criteria is that they should have your best interests at heart, and want you to thrive and succeed. These people are your own personal cheerleaders, confidants, great listeners, and wise counsel. They should lift you up, make you feel supported, nourish you, and assist you to live your best life.

So, considering this, the value of drawing on your ‘village’ when going through change can be huge and can include benefits such as:

  • Keeping you motivated – Sometimes it feels as though people who don’t ‘get’ the changes you are making are critical and discouraging towards you (largely due to their own fears and preferences). Wouldn’t it be great to instead feel supported by people who are non-judgemental, who don’t put their own perspective on the situation, and approach it with your best interests at heart and consideration of what’s right for you? That’s what those in your ‘village’ do.
  • Helping you find clarity – Sometimes just talking about your plans out loud with someone can help give you clarity on the options you have and the best way forward. Try it. Your supporters will be there to listen.
  • Reinforcing your commitment – Sharing your plans with someone you trust helps create a commitment to what you want to achieve as you feel more obliged to carry them through! You can further reinforce this by building an accountability measure such as reporting back to your supporters on your progress every week. They will be keen to know about your progress and support you along the journey.
  • Tapping into a wealth of knowledge – Perhaps some of the members of your ‘village’ have gone through a similar change and can share their learnings to help you make informed decisions on the best way forward. They will willingly share their knowledge whilst recognizing that this may not be the best solution for you, and respecting that you need to do what’s best for you.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support from your ‘village’. Navigating through change can be hard at times and good support is essential. And remember: this group of people will care for you, want to see you thrive, and will be pleased to be there for you.

Olivia Rowan, Founder of OLR Coaching. OLR Coaching loves helping people live their best lives. OLR supports people to get clarity on their self-identity, to determine what is really important to them and set powerful goals that are aligned with their life vision, to make career changes; and assists with self-management strategies such as time management, reducing their stress, and habit busting. They work with people through personal coaching and workshops. Connect with OLR on their website, Facebook, and Instagram page.

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