If you’ve been a fan of the podcast for awhile, or you’ve just discovered it, I’m going to warn you before I start this episode that this is going to be some tough love today. This is not going to be gentle, but it’s important that you listen until the end, even if you feel some resistance, because I’m going to share some things that you probably really need to hear.
How do I know? Because not only do I speak to, work with, and coach many accountant moms, but I’m one too, and I can see where this has been, and continues to be, an issue for a lot of accountant moms. So please try to be open to what I’m going to share with you today because you probably do need to hear it.
So here’s the hard truth my friends – you’re not being as resourceful as you could be. I can see you shaking your head or wanting to argue with me, but I’m going to show you what I mean by giving you a few things to consider. You probably aren’t being as resourceful as you can be if:
- You follow someone else’s rules
- When faced with an obstacle, you tend to want to give up or stay stuck in confusion
- You defer to others (especially men) more often than you trust your gut instincts
- It’s uncomfortable for you to acknowledge your weaknesses
- You beat yourself up for not knowing everything
- You lack self-confidence
- You give up easily
- When faced with a problem, you quickly try to think of someone else that can fix it
- You procrastinate
- You get overwhelmed easily
Do any of those resonate with you? To be honest, a bunch of them resonate with me too. I get that it can be challenging to admit that you might not be as resourceful as you can be, but it’s always important to first have the awareness before you can actually do something about it.
So the first question to consider is, what does being resourceful even mean? The dictionary defines it as
having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties, but that’s not the definition that I’m going to be using for this episode.
I don’t believe you need to be quick or clever in order to be resourceful; I believe that being resourceful means you just need to be willing to solve your own problems. I want to be clear that it doesn’t mean you already necessarily know everything that you need to know in order to solve your problems or that you have all the tools to solve your problems.
If you really think about it, the reason that teachers, coaches and continuing education classes exist is because most of us don’t have all the knowledge, tools, or skills that we need in order to solve our own problems. So learning more and asking for support isn’t the issue when it comes to being resourceful; the issue is your attitude towards the thing you don’t know how to solve yet.
When it comes to resourcefulness, your attitude is everything and in this episode, I’m hopefully going to help you see things differently. Whether it’s for your professional or personal life, I hope you stick around for some tough love and learn the important skill of how to be more resourceful.
This week I’m going to discuss why being resourceful is important for accountant moms and how you can become more resourceful.
Why being resourceful is important
As both an accountant and a mom, you’re probably faced with new challenges on a daily basis, especially during the roller coaster ride of this past year and the pandemic. Whether it’s been issues with needing to work virtually while homeschooling children or not having the support you usually count on in order to balance your work and your family, you’ve probably been needing to juggle a lot of unexpected problems.
For a lot of the accountant moms I speak to, work with, and coach, they’re just exhausted by all the challenges they’ve had to deal with and are looking forward to a time when things become a little simpler. The issue though is that life is always going to bring us challenges and problems to solve, which is why being resourceful is so important.
For someone who isn’t resourceful, small issues can grow into bigger problems in the blink of an eye. When you’re not resourceful, you tend to think a lot about a problem, complain about the problem, worry about the problem, but don’t believe you can do anything to solve it.
For example, someone who isn’t being resourceful will listen to this podcast, not apply what I teach each week, or take action on the various resources that CPA MOMS offers. Instead, they’ll stuff their frustration with their job, they’ll complain about their relationships or finances, or they’ll keep using the excuse that they just don’t have enough time to learn how to better manage their time or how to build more confidence.
When you aren’t being resourceful you’ll tend to be impatient with yourself, you’ll have difficulty allowing yourself to think outside the box, or you’ll often feel overwhelmed and challenged with things outside the norm. Since our brains like things to stay status quo and are uncomfortable with the unknown, it’s completely understandable that we naturally resist change, but when you’re not resourceful, your brain will see more of a problem than there actually is.
When you aren’t being resourceful you believe, feel, and act like you’re helpless, wanting other people to solve problems for you. The key though is that It’s not about asking someone a question when you don’t know the answer; it’s about what your FIRST instinct is when you have a question, when you want a piece of information, or when you’re faced with a problem.
If you’re not being resourceful, your initial instinct will be to assume that you don’t know anything, that you can’t do anything, and that you need someone else to tell you what to do. You’ll always believe other people know more than you and won’t even pause to consider that you can figure it out or at least try.
What I most often see with accountant moms is that they lack self-confidence and tend to need permission to do what they want to do, even when they don’t realize that that’s what they’re doing. They often feel like they're the victim of circumstances and have a lot of self-doubt, which then leads them to question their ability to solve their problems.
The tricky thing about not being resourceful is that sometimes we think that hiring an expert will solve our problem before we’ve even tried to do the legwork to figure it out ourselves, or considered at least a few steps we can take. When we’re not being resourceful, our knee jerk reaction is to quickly want to escape the uncomfortability of the problem.
For example, it might seem like a subtle difference, but there actually is a big difference between a thought like “I don’t know why I’m not getting any sales, so I’m going to buy this course to teach me how to solve my problem” versus a thought like “I’ve got to figure out what’s going wrong in my sales process and then find the right tools to fix it”. The first thought sees a problem and wants something else to solve it; the second thought sees a problem and is willing to spend some time with it.
The key in this example is in the difference between how you think about whose responsibility it is to solve the problem and who’s going to have to do the hard thinking to solve the problem. In other words, it’s important to be resourceful because it means the difference between you being powerless and stuck versus you being willing to figure out what the solution might be.
The truth is that a resourceful mind believes that everything is figureoutable, as author and teacher Marie Forleo shares in her NY Times bestseller “Everything Is Figureoutable”. When you become resourceful, you are much less dependent on others, you take responsibility for the results you create, you grow your confidence and your value, and you utilize your brain at a much higher level.
I think those are some pretty good reasons to consider becoming more resourceful.
How to become more resourceful
Here’s the hard truth – resourcefulness is one of the most underdeveloped skill sets in human beings in the world today. While it’s amazing to live during this time in history with things like the internet and Google, we’ve also become, dare I say, impatient and lazy when it comes to solving our own problems.
We’ve become so accustomed to quickly being able to get answers to questions, that we’ve become incredibly dependent on others, believing it’s the best way to get past the uncomfortability of a problem.
We’ve lost the ability that our ancestors had, to take the time to stretch, grow and develop abilities we initially might believe we’re not capable of.
Again, I’m not saying that you, of course, might need some help, information, coaching, skills or tools that you don’t already have. but I promise you that you have the most powerful computer and Google search bar in the world, inside your skull. As a human, you have a higher brain, called the prefrontal cortex, and I guarantee that no matter what your IQ is or what you scored on the CPA exam, you’re not using your higher brain to the best of its ability.
Instead of underutilizing your amazing human brain and allowing learned helplessness to become the norm, I want to empower you to take more responsibility than you might have up until now. The tough love I want to impart is that it’s time to stop being comfortable being helpless or being the “damsel in distress” waiting for some version of a white knight to come and solve your problems for you.
The truth is that we all face obstacles, but anything in life that is worth doing is going to require you to get over your helplessness and get over the obstacles in your own way. There are always going to be situations that you don’t initially know how to solve, circumstances that are overwhelming or confusing, and problems that seem insurmountable, but you are more competent than you allow yourself to be.
It’s really important to understand that it’s not the size of the problem when it comes to being more resourceful; it’s about the attitude that you have about the problem. Up until now, you’ve just been practicing the belief that you can’t solve a problem, that you’re not capable, or that someone else needs to help you.
While we all need help at times, I promise you that you just haven’t given your higher brain a chance to be more resourceful. We’ve all just become used to reacting with our lower brain.
To prove my point, imagine that you would get a painful electric shock:
- Every time you complained about something without doing something about it
- Every time you wanted someone else to solve your problem for you
- Each time you wanted to give up as soon as something was difficult
- Each time you threw your hands up because you were confused or overwhelmed
Now, what if instead you decided to start believing that you could solve your problems? That you could figure out an answer? That there are an infinite number of ways to get what you want and if one of those ways didn’t work, you just had to try another?
What if you assumed that there was always a solution and that you can always figure it out? What if you believed, like Marie Forleo teaches, that everything is figureoutable? Imagine what would happen! Imagine how different your life could be.
It’s important to know that there’s a big difference between “I CAN but I choose not to” versus “I CAN’T so you have to”. I think we’ve all been playing the “I can’t” card for too long; where something is uncomfortable so our knee jerk reaction is to say “I can’t”..
Remember, I said in the beginning that this was going to be some tough love, but I want to empower you all to stand up taller, trust yourself more, and be an example of what’s possible for your children because when you become more resourceful, you show them how to be as well. You can show them, by the power of your example, how to tap into their higher brain more often.
The truth is that we’re also not doing our children any favors by not encouraging them to be more resourceful and solving everything for them. The less dependent they are on us and on others, the stronger and more confident they will become as they grow up.
So whether you do it for you or for them, I’m going to suggest that you just take a good hard look at where you might be playing the helpless card and consider reshuffling that deck.
Pause before you allow the knee-jerk reaction to ask someone else to solve a problem, and give your higher brain a chance to at least take a stab at it. Give it a chance to do the higher level problem-solving that it’s naturally capable of doing.
When you become more resourceful, you just don’t stop asking for help, but you also don’t automatically assume that you need it right away. You give yourself the opportunity to see how capable you actually are.
- I don’t believe you need to be quick or clever in order to be resourceful; I believe that being resourceful means you just need to be willing to solve your own problems.
- When you’re not resourceful, you tend to think a lot about how you have a problem, complain about the problem, worry about the problem, but don’t believe you can do anything to solve it.
- If you’re not being resourceful, your initial instinct will be to assume that you don’t know anything, that you can’t do anything, and that you need someone else to tell you what to do.
- We’ve become so accustomed to quickly being able to get answers to questions, that we’ve become incredibly dependent on others, believing it’s the best way to get past the uncomfortability of a problem.
- I want to empower you all to stand up taller, trust yourself more, and be an example of what’s possible for your children because when you become more resourceful, you show them how to be as well.