The real reason delegating is so hard to do
I’m going to be completely honest here: I’m not good at delegating anything to other people. I’m far better at trying to do it all myself. And for a lot of years, that worked pretty well for me.
But when you’re trying to be a present mom and pursue your purpose beyond motherhood, you just can’t get by without delegating. So this past year, I tried really hard to practice this skill in my daily life. Because if I didn’t, I knew I wouldn’t have time to be more than a mom. I knew I wouldn’t have time to give to myself. I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to make the difference I wanted to make in the world.
And I knew if I didn’t get better at delegating, I’d keep feeling pretty overwhelmed and even resentful too.
I’m aware of all of this. And yet sometime this past month, I started to slip back into old habits. I stopped delegating. I stopped asking for help. And I decided, once again, to listen to my inner perfectionist — the one who says I can and should be able to DO IT ALL myself.
So this weekend, I had to take some time to figure out why this was happening again. Because even though I understood the cost of NOT delegating, I couldn’t seem to change my old habits for good.
So I asked myself the obvious question: Why? Why had I picked up old habits again? Why wasn’t I willing to delegate tasks to anyone? And why was I falling back on my old belief that I needed to do it all?
I’m not proud of what I learned about myself this weekend but it’s true so I want to share it. Because if you too struggle to delegate in your life as a mom or outside of it, this might be the thing that’s holding you back.
Here’s what I learned: The issue isn’t just that I’m not good at delegating tasks to other people. The bigger problem is that I don’t want to delegate anything because I don’t trust anyone else to do things the way I want them done. So I have a fear that if I delegate meal planning to my husband that we won’t have healthy meals to eat. I’m afraid if I hire someone to help out with childcare that they won’t interact with my girls in the same way I would. And I worry that if I hand off business tasks to an assistant, they won’t complete those tasks up to my standards. (And yes, my standards are pretty high.)
So as you can imagine, it was pretty eye opening to realize all this. But what was even more important was that I also realized I have a choice going forward.
And if you have trouble delegating, so do you.
You can continue to hold everything close. You can continue to try and do everything yourself and drown in the aftermath and the overwhelm. You can continue to listen to your inner perfectionist telling you things will only get done the right way if you do them yourself.
But you should only continue down that path if you’re willing to accept the cost of doing so. Because if you keep trying to do it all and keep telling yourself you’re bad at delegating, you won’t have the time and space you need to find fulfillment outside your role as a mom.
And if you don’t like the sound of that, it’s time to start delegating. You’re going to start small — just like I have — to make this shift more manageable. So this week, I want you to pick one thing you need to delegate to someone else and then ask them if they’d be willing to do it for you. (I’m pretty sure they’ll say yes. If they say no, ask someone else.) Then, you have to let them do that task for you — and remember that even if it’s not done to your exact standards, it is getting done.
And if it’s getting done, that means you have less on your plate and more time to pursue your purpose and give back to you.
Life coach Ashley Gartland helps moms find their purpose beyond motherhood through one-one-one coaching and her program, Bold Mom, Balanced Life. Ashley helps moms prioritize themselves, pursue their dreams and find ways to be great moms AND individuals making their impact in the world. Connect with her on Instagram or Facebook or through her web site at www.ashleymgartland.com.