How do I support someone when I barely know what I’m doing myself?

Believe that you are capable. Woman walking down beach leaving footprints in sand.

Sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation where we’re the best person for a job we don’t know how to do. Life hits hard, we’re in way over our heads, and it’s time to be an adult. But how do we know what to do?

Accept that you’re going to have to learn as you go.

You aren’t going to handle it perfectly, but that’s a bad reason not to try. Sometimes we’re so afraid of making the wrong move that we do nothing instead. You will make mistakes: forgive yourself for them in advance.

Don’t feel like you need to be a hero.

It’s unlikely that you’ll find yourself in a situation where lives depend on you and only you, and there’s no one else around to save the day. In reality, you probably have a lot of obligations to balance—to yourself and others—and there’s no way to be all things to all people. Be generous in your offer of help, but don’t promise more than you can deliver.

Look to others for advice and help when you can.

Sometimes you’re all on your own. You have to make an immediate decision, and you don’t have time to do research on the Internet or poll your more experienced friends and family members. But if you do have that opportunity, take it: just because you started something on your own doesn’t mean you have to finish it that way.

Believe that you are capable.

You can’t solve every problem and you shouldn’t try. But you do have the strength to handle the things you come your way, even if you don’t do it perfectly. You, muddling through it as best you can, is better than you not being there at all.

#A2Woman #GoBoldly

Iris Proctor
Iris is the director of ArborWoman.