Most of the time, we relate to support as an as-needed kind of thing.
We seek out support when we need it, and then once we’ve overcome the thing we sought support for, we’re good.
This is the way people relate to many of the support structures in their lives — marriage counselling (if we can just solve this hurdle in front of us…), therapeutic support (If I can just overcome my anxiety…), 12-step recovery work (If I can just get over my addiction…).
The underlying idea is often something like:
You’re fine, until you’re not. Then, get supported, until you’re fine again. Carry on as before.
A different paradigm for being supported is to choose to make an ongoing commitment (and corresponding investment) to being supported. This way of showing up to your life is in opposition to seeking support as and when you need it.
When you make a commitment like this, one of the first things you’ll come up against is that you have been living a life that, broadly speaking, don’t require much support. Because of this fact, pretty quickly you’ll fix most of the outstanding “problems” in your life, and then start showing up to your ongoing support conversations without any idea of what to work on.
The natural inclination at this point is to return to life as before. Things are good, so why rock the boat? Instead, the opportunity is to forge ahead, courageously, and begin living a life that requires more support. To live a life that is big enough that you cannot create it entirely on your own.
This often means setting and committing to goals that you have no idea how to make happen on your own. Results that you are committed to creating, but are currently only able to see all of the reasons why they are not achievable.
This kind of approach to life requires a higher degree of vulnerability. If you pursue a life that is outside what you’re already reliable to create, you’re going to fail sometimes. You’re going to have to open yourself up to the possibility that someone else can support you to create more than you can on your own.
This kind of game calls you forward into your life, and makes support an ongoing, essential requirement, rather than an as-needed.
The trap is that we wait until our life looks like we’re up to enough that we need to make this kind of commitment. But that’s just the next iteration of playing the “support-as-needed” kind of game.
“Once I’m doing enough that I need this kind of support, then I’ll invest in it”.
The breakthrough happens once you make the commitment.
And not until that moment.