Why can’t I do this myself?

why cant I do this myself


It’s a sentence I hear from many clients.


Why can’t I do this myself?


What’s behind this question?


It takes a new way of thinking to accept help at times.


Recently I heard of a perspective shift from a client.  As a single entrepreneur woman, she had a lot on her plate. She also had her cats to think of.  In thinking about how she was trying to do it all herself, she reflected on some tv shows from her youth. There was the Courtship of Eddie’s Father with Mrs. Livingston, there was the show Hazel and there was the Brady Bunch with Alice. It was an aha moment as she realized she needed help!


It takes awareness to reach this new perspective and reach out for help.

It takes courage to accept help in your personal space. It’s about a trusting relationship.  It’s about knowing that there is no judgement in working with someone.


It’s acknowledging your need for help is not a lack of your skill or lack of determination.  The most commitment need help too.


It’s acknowledging that your brain works in a certain way. It’s knowing that having someone else in the space helps your brain work best, helps you process in a way that works best for you and helps get the job you started finished.


It’s in finding who is a good fit for your team.


There are lots of potential members of your team. It’s  your counselor, Stephen Minister, professional organizer and coach who create all the different successes.  Finding the fit of many different people who can help you is what’s important.


There are many answers to why can’t I do this myself.  There may be more than a single reason. Find what works for you and you can move forward with whatever task you are doing.


More ideas and resources for your team here.

10 replies
  1. Janet Barclay
    Janet Barclay says:

    I think as women, we are programmed to believe we have to do everything ourselves – whether in business or in our personal lives. Acknowledging that we can’t – and probably shouldn’t – do it all can be very liberating!

  2. Nancy Borg
    Nancy Borg says:


    This so resonates with one particular client of mine. Her husband does not support or accept her ADHD and consequently disapproves of our organizing sessions. He doesn’t understand why she cannot do (what he considers to be simple tasks) on her own, and why she has to ‘pay’ for somone to help her. As much as I try to reassure her and build her self-esteem, she is still full of shame and blame. This is a constant struggle. Although we’ve made great strides throughout the past 6 years, unfortuntely this marital conflict is in her way of her “big picture” life progress. As long as my client understands the value I bring to her life, we continue to work together.

  3. Sabrina Quairoli
    Sabrina Quairoli says:

    Great post, Ellen. I think it is courageous to ask for help. I admire people who can say, “please help.” One needs to show vulnerability and honesty. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. Seana Turner
    Seana Turner says:

    Yes, so many reasons why having someone help is often called for. Sometimes it is nothing more than a fresh perspective. Wise people don’t do it all, they maximize their efficiency by allocating resources in the most productive way!

  5. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Love these comments and new perspectives!

    @Janet ~ you are so right that we are socialized that it’s weak to ask for help. Truly it is bold! The more we share and emphasize this, the more others will feel empowered.

    @Nancy ~ you are a blessing to your client. I know my clients feel the value of our work together and it is rewarding.

    @Sabrina ~ thank you for affirming our clients and others who ask for help.

    @Seana ~ thank you for bringing wisdom, perspective and maximizing resources to this conversation.

  6. Kathy Vines
    Kathy Vines says:

    I tell people all the time that one of the qualities of my ideal client it someone who has been feeling like she’s failing all over the place — failing as a mom, as a wife, as an employee — and I can see that they just haven’t stepped back enough to get the right perspective on how to make their life work for them, not against them. The realization of “why can’t I do this myself”, FORGIVING themselves for it and the reaching out for help are so HUGE for being the first steps for my (eventually) MOST successful clients.

    Thank you for writing this one!

  7. Autumn Leopold
    Autumn Leopold says:

    I love that you say people need to recognize whether it is a lack of skill or a lack of determination. Honestly it may be both and the great things about professional organizers is we can help with both. 🙂 It does take courage to acknowledge this and ask for or hire help. There is no shame in realizing you can’t do it all alone.

  8. Ellen Delap
    Ellen Delap says:

    Great insights to who we help and how we help them.

    @Kathy ~ you are so on target about forgiving. It makes asking for help possible. Without it, you are still stuck.

    @Autumn ~ it’s never a simple answer. Typically we have many reasons we are held back. Acknowledging that there is help available takes many steps.

  9. Army Wife
    Army Wife says:

    @Nancy Borg
    I’m sorry your ADHD client’s husband has a hard time accepting that she needs help. Perhaps rephrase your work in a way that he can understand. If he’s a sports fan, tell him you’re a “specific” trainer i.e. not the football coach but the trainer that helps the quarterback throw the ball faster and more accurately. In the end the whole team will benefit if one person has training/coaching on their specific area.

    Best of luck

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