October 26, 2014

How admitting weakness makes you stronger

molly published this at 3:00 am

Fears can serve as a tether, keeping you tied to your past and ultimately from achieving independence. However connections can serve as anchors, or a stabilizing force, enabling you to reach higher and more fully develop your independence, even as you are tethered¯ to others.

Paradox is a trip.

Over the past 4 years or so, I’ve come to increasingly realize that truth resides in both parts (many parts?) of any given equation. Non-denominationally speaking, Christ was trying to help us figure that out a couple of thousand years ago when He told His followers that he was *both* the Alpha and The Omega.

This is difficult to articulate, but when I spoke from the dais when accepting the Margaret P. Benson Scholarship award as a returning student at the University of Iowa, the concept of paradox arrived in my consciousness in the same way that a flower opens with the aid of sunshine.

Sometimes referred to as a-ha moments,¯ my realization (that I shared with the assembly gathered) was that we are at our strongest and our weakest when we are both extending and accepting help from another.

Asking for help does not make you “weak.” Admitting that you need help requires an amazing amount of confidence. Accepting help requires a humility that expands your abilities.

Conversely, the go it solo, lone-wolf version of independence makes you vulnerable. Not having a network of interconnected, interrelated support leaves you undeveloped and without a foundation for truly soaring to new heights.

By way of example, if you are a rock climber, you understand the value of anchors. In order to scale the mountain, you must rely on a series of well-placed and secure pitons, chords and guides, working in concert with you to achieve your goal.

In order to reach the summit, you must be able to trust the tensile strength of the rope, the placement and materials of the pitons and the other climbers who distribute the weight of the collective climbing party as you make your ascent. Your part of the equation and responsibility is training yourself to be physically, mentally and spiritually fit enough to make the journey.

It also helps if you have a sherpa: someone who has climbed this particular mountain and can advise you about pitfalls, probable barriers and their possible solutions. Having confidence in your support system enables you to scale new heights.

When you know that the rope will bear your weight, so to speak, you can forge new paths upward.

Having a network of capable, skilled traveling companions helps you to pace yourself and to increase your skill set. Further, surrounding yourself with others who have achieved what you hope to encourages you to reach new plateaus and horizons.

When we only rely solely on our own perspectives and individual strength, we can sometimes hinder our ability to become ultimately independent.

Paradoxically, knowing when to ask for help, accepting the wisdom of others and acting on their advice (through the filter of your own experiences) are all necessary components of independence. Enjoy the view!

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Molly Cantrell-Kraig is a woman with drive. Possessing an innate sense of purpose and a pragmatic, solution-based approach to empowering people, she fused these two traits in order to establish Women With Drive Foundation. Based upon its founder’s personal history, Women With Drive Foundation is a means through which Cantrell-Kraig may effect change on both a micro and macro level. By providing women with something as essential as personal transportation in order to transition them from poverty to prosperity, she, through Women With Drive Foundation, seeks to empower women to help them help themselves. Through this action, the individual applicant benefits, as does society as a whole. Follow Molly on twitter as @mckra1g or @WWDr1ve (Women With Drive Foundation) or “Like” them on facebook.

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