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Sustainable Success: Why Getting Support Is Key

July 15, 2020

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The other day I was on a zoom call with my coach and mastermind buddies….


When it was my turn in the hot seat, I laid ALL of my challenges out on the table.


I shared my frustration and challenges with:


  • Time: how to use it to honour my business and the work I SO love to do, along with my other desire to nurture, love and be with my kids.
  • Emotions: as a sensitive soul, I’ve been riding the emotional roller coaster ride that is 2020 (the 3rd wave of COVID we’re riding in my hometown, Hong Kong politics, the questions around future schooling arrangements etc.) 
  • Priorities: how to set plans/dates in the midst of the unknown and uncertain
  • Plus a lot more 😉


When I signed up to this mastermind in 2019, I had no idea just how much I would need this support. I’m so grateful I acknowledged that getting support was a priority!

In hindsight, I’m so glad that I said yes to the experience…


Having support isn’t just about being able to ask questions and to be seen, heard and felt with where I’m at….it’s about a sense of safety and security knowing that I am held at all times. That people – who are rooting for me to follow the right path by me – have my back. 


This is deeply restorative and nourishing for my nervous system. 

Siobhan Barnes Soulful Executive Coach Hong Kong Summer 5

Which is SUPER important especially during these times where we’re all holding and dealing with a lot.


Just 20 minutes in the hot seat, expressing what was on my heart and mind around my life and business, being heard, being supported and guided back to my truth and my own answers, I felt clear, rejuvenated and more of myself. 


After 20 minutes, I was ready for the rest of the day and to make choices from THIS aligned space.


As women, allowing in support can be a huge challenge.




Subconsciously we’ve been taught certain rules around what it means to get support… In a nutshell: that we shouldn’t need it to thrive. 


Part of the Perfect Woman Imperative says that women should be:


  • Independent
  • Smart enough to figure things out on our own
  • Master multi-taskers
  • Able to thrive in isolation


I’ve seen this manifest in challenges like:


  • Never-ending to-do lists 
  • Resisting hiring support even if the funds are available
  • Not sharing how we’re really feeling for fear of being a burden, bitchy or whiny
  • Staying stuck in indecision (around work, a relationship, a health choice, where to live etc)
  • Exhaustion, overwhelm, burnout
  • Not being able to express better balance in a relationship (whether that be romantic, at work, with family members, friends etc)
  • Feeling competitive with another woman or peer and closing down to collaboration

The truth is, it takes support to thrive. We can’t do it ALL on our own.


Why would we want to?


If you’re feeling overwhelmed, tired or simply burned out with carrying it all on your own, you’re in the right place. Let’s talk about getting support.


Sustainable Success Siobhan Barnes Soulful Executive Coach

Sustainable Success: Why Getting Support Is Key


Pour yourself a cuppa, or a glass of vino and let’s dive in 🙂

Let’s dive in!


Part 1: What Is Sustainable Success?


In order to feel successful and achieve “success” as YOU define it, I believe that you’ve got to go after the goals that are right for you. I therefore define success as:


“The achievement of something desired, promised or predicted through the energy and resonance of one’s soul.”


ach and every one of us has different soul gifts, soul desires, values, priorities and hence different versions of success….


For some, success is:


  • A C-Suite role that has all the perks and job security
  • Running a small business with time flexibility
  • Being a stay at home and being 100% present for their kids
  • Plus a myriad of other versions (you get to pick yours)


Each and everyone’s goals is different and defining success is entirely up to you. 


To achieve success I believe that it’s not a one and done thing i.e. it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. A long term journey that we’re in for the long haul.


Hence the need for sustainable practices to keep at it….and actually enjoy the journey along the way.


Reflection Q: How do YOU define success?


Spoiler alert: if you’re not sure, I’m launching a free online training soon where I’ll be supporting YOU to have the space and time to figure out your priorities, what support you need to make your desires and goals happen and what key decisions you need to make in your work + life to move forward with your vision of success. Stay tuned for next week’s blog post for all the details! If you’re not already subscribed to the Bright Life Weekly, make sure you SIGN UP HERE to get the latest!


Part 2: 3 Reasons Why Getting Support Is Key For Sustainable Success


Reason #1: You’re one person alone with limited capacity

Productivity culture places a heavy emphasis on what you can produce, your output and your work. 


Whilst getting stuff done is important, you have limits. You have a capacity. You are a human being with needs for rest, sleep, rejuvenation. You are not a machine.

Siobhan Barnes - Hong Kong Integrative Life Coach Career Coach - Flat Lay Image114

Getting real with this fact enables you to work with what is, rather than trying to be superhuman (cramming in more, in less time). 


Have you ever seen the film with Sarah Jessica Parker: I Don’t Know How She Does It?


Note: You can watch the trailer HERE if you want to get the gist in 3 mins 🙂

In the movie, SJP is portraying a working mum with 2 young kids and juggling all the things….


She’s trying to do it all and it simply doesn’t work.


At the end something has to give and she has to decide what’s important to her.


This movie speaks to the Perfect Woman Imperative (PWI) so perfectly:


This PWI expects us as women to do all the things and be there for everyone else, without questioning what support we might need for our own desires, dreams and goals. 


Today, I invite you to check in with yourself and enquire whether you’re putting too much pressure on yourself? Is what you’re trying to achieve really possible for just one person?


Reason #2: You aren’t good at everything (sorry, but it’s true!)


Growing up, we’re raised to be good in ALL subjects. To be straight A students. The underlying premise: Being good at everything = greater success.


The truth is we’re just not hard wired to be good at everything. Again it’s not possible….


  • A monkey is designed and built to climb a tree
  • A fish is designed and built to swim in water
  • A cheetah is designed and built to run
  • You are designed and built to do your Zone of Genius


Your Zone of Genius is different from everyone else in the world.


The Perfect Woman Imperative will have us spending time on tasks that aren’t worth our time because of the belief that we “should” be able to do it ourselves (even if it means spending 3 hours watching that YouTube video to figure out how to do it).


Rather than trying to multi-task and learn how to do everything for yourself….I encourage you to think about where you’re doing tasks that are outside of your zone of genius. Can you get support there?

Reason #3: Success isn’t just about achievement, it’s about pleasure too.


If we’re doing ALL the things, ALL the time. For ourselves and for everyone else too. It’s super easy to fall into the trap of doing. Losing our mojo and joy along the way. 


Given we’re looking to achieve sustainable success, it’s imperative that we are ensuring that pleasure is built into our work and life. 


Plus this is also part of life: to enjoy and savour along the way. 


Bronnie Ware is an Australian nurse who spent many years working in palliative care, caring for patients in the last 3 months of their lives.

In Bronnie Ware’s book: The Top 5 Regrets of The Dying, she shares 2 key regrets that I want to mention here related to this point…


That really brings home the truth that you are here for more than just hustling, grinding and merely surviving.

Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying Book Cover Image

Regret #1: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.


“This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret, but as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.” 


Regret #2. I wish that I had let myself be happier.


“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.”


Rather than learn these lessons at the end of our life, how can we take this wisdom and learn this now?


Side note: In case you’re wondering what they other 3 regrets are, they’re:


  •  I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  •  I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
  •  I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.


Reflection Q: Which of the 3 reasons above resonates most with you? 

Part 3: The most common barriers to getting support


Some of the common stumbling blocks that I come across around getting support include:


  • It’s a luxury not a necessity
  • It’s exploitative
  • I can’t afford it


Let’s take each one of these in turn:


Myth #1: Getting support is a luxury not a necessity


There’s a difference between surviving (what’s necessary) and thriving (what you desire and what brings pleasure). 


You don’t have to do with the bare minimum. You are worthy of more. 


If you’re not sure if getting support is worth it you can ask yourself:


  • What’s the benefit of getting this support?
  • If I have these benefits, how will I feel?


Your own answers are your barometer for whether you need this support or if it’s just a luxury that’s not necessary right now.


Myth #2: It’s exploitative


Hiring support doesn’t have to be exploitative. It can be regenerative. It can be providing a livelihood and source of income for another person. 


Look to nature and there is a constant exchange of give and take. 


You inhale, you exhale. 

There is birth, there is death.

The tide comes in, and goes back out. 

There is night and there is day. 


Life is a constant exchange. 


When you pay someone for their support, you receive their support and you give your resources in exchange. 


Our capitalist world is most definitely a system that is flawed with oppression baked into a lot of the models that we see. 


BUT we have a choice in how to operate within the system. Choosing who we support, how much we pay and how we’re willing to invest. 


The choice is yours.


Myth #3: I can’t afford it


Living within our means is definitely of importance and we have limited resources available.


However it’s important to ask ourselves the question we don’t often like to ask:


  • What is the cost of not getting support?


If you’re weighing up if you can afford support or not I invite you to feel into:


  • What’s the benefit of getting this support?
  • If I have these benefits, how will I feel?
  • What is the cost of NOT getting support? 


Again, your own answers are your barometer for whether you need this support or if it’s just a luxury that’s not necessary right now.


Part 4: Finding the right support for you


There are so many different types of support that you may need.


From hiring a cleaner to support you in your home once a week to getting that babysitter booked in on the regular to working with a coach.


Ultimately you are the best judge of what it is that you need.


Remember getting support is all in service towards your goal of living as your highest most expressed version of yourself and to live, work and lead in sustainable, nourishing, liberatory and pleasure-filled ways. This is an important key pillar in the way I coach and work

Siobhan Barnes - Hong Kong Life Coach Career Coach - Beach Image5

Here are 4 important tips to get clear before you start looking for support:


Tip #1 Get clear on what is it you need/want + desire?


Tip #2 Understand your timeline: How long do you desire support for?


Tip #3 Take a moment to clarify how much time, energy and $ you’re willing to invest (and yes you’re worth it)


Tip #4: Take the time to find the right support. This is not just a logical choice, it’s a gut feeling too.

Let’s put this into an example…going back to the mastermind I mentioned at the start of this blog.


When I look at my life and business, I know that I want to create sustainable success. 


The path to achieving my desires isn’t easy and I knew that I wanted emotional, strategic and implementation support to make this a reality.


So I got clear on each of these tips:


Tip #1 Get clear on what is it you need/want + desire


I know that my main key desires are to:


  • have a flourishing business doing the work I love (helping a woman reclaim who she really is and to do the work she’s here to do) 
  • have a schedule where I can be there for my children whilst they’re still young and growing


Tip #2 Your Timeline: How long do you desire support for? Trial or long term?


I knew that I wanted a longer container for support to see me through the ups and downs. So I set my sights on longer term support (this program I’m in is 9 months long)


Tip #3 Your Investment: Take a moment to clarify how much time, energy and $ you’re willing to invest (and yes you’re worth it)


I clarified the amount of money, time and energy I was willing to invest. And yes invest. Because the return on investment is about more than just financial, it’s a return on my wholeness which is quite frankly priceless to me.


Tip #4 The Right Fit: There are many different types of support out there. You want to figure out who’s right for you. Take the time to find the right person. This is not just a logical choice it’s a gut feeling too.


I knew who I wanted to work with because I’ve been working with my mentor for a while now. Her approach and style (feminine embodiment) aka aligning back to me and my truth suits me so much more than simply strategy alone. I made my choice with my head and my heart too.


I use this process for my bigger investments in support but equally for other decisions e.g. support at home, Virtual Assistant support in my business, where to support my health etc.


Reflection Q: What type of support do you need most right now? If you desire to speak about how I can support you, you can apply for a career alignment session with me HERE

There you have it!


Thank you for tuning in to today’s blog post. To recap, today we covered:


Part 1: What Is Sustainable Success?


Part 2: 3 Reasons Why Getting Support Is Key For Sustainable Success


Part 3: The Most Common Barriers To Getting Support


Part 4: Finding The Right Support For You


Now I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment and let me know:  


  • Where in your life do you need the most support?
  • What’s holding you back from getting it?


Important to note:


Next week I’ll be launching a free online training soon where I’ll be supporting YOU to have the space and time to figure out your priorities, what support you need to make your desires and goals happen and what key decisions you need to make in your work + life to move forward. 


If you’re not already subscribed to the Bright Life Weekly, make sure you SIGN UP HERE. This is where I share tips, resources and inspiration to support you in living your life in full colour, without the constant, hustling, grinding and merely surviving.


With love,




P.S. If you want to go deeper into this topic, come and join me in the Soul Aligned Professional Women Facebook Group. In this group I deliver REALignment workshops to compassionate leaders and seekers who want to find their REAL selves and live, love and lead in ways that are sustainable, just and liberating. Simply click on the image below to join!


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