Author Archives: Liana George

Giving Yourself Permission to Ask for Help

Permission to Ask for helpAsk for help?  No, I don’t do that.  

Why not?

Because it’s a sign of weakness.  

Plus, I’m perfectly capable of handling everything myself.  I don’t need anyone’s help for anything.  

Those are the lies I told myself and the belief system I worked from, day in and day out for as long as I can remember.

I thought I was being strong, independent and capable.  I was wrong.

My foundations about asking for help

I don’t know how I developed this false belief that asking for help was wrong.  Maybe my parents ingrained it into me, or perhaps a childhood experience caused me to think that I shouldn’t ask.  Whatever the reason, I’ve never been one to ask anyone for help.

But honestly, living like that is exhausting.  It meant that I had to do everything on my own and that I had to have all the answers.  The reality is I’m a physically limited human being who doesn’t know it all.

It took awhile for me to internalize this truth, yet I finally did when I was out of strength and choices.  But I didn’t go easily.

The wrong way to ask for help

Once I recognized my shortcoming, I started to be more open about asking for help from others.  However, I didn’t go about it properly:

  • I would ask, but apologize for being bothersome.
  • I would ask, but feel guilty for taking up other people’s precious time.
  • I would ask, but beat myself up for not being able to do it myself.
  • I would ask, but rather than let others truly help me, I continued to do as much as I could myself
  • I would ask, but feel indebted to that person rather than accepting their gift of help

While I thought I was making progress, I wasn’t really.  I was “pretending” to ask for help so I would look better in front of people, to let them believe I was humble enough to understand my weaknesses and not try and operate in them.

But then something happens that causes you to have a true need that only someone else can fill. One that you are helpless to do anything about.  That’s when you realize you have to let go and give yourself permission to ask for help.

Giving yourself permission to ask for help

Although it’s not always easy, there are times in our lives when we simply have to ask for help.

Because the truth is:

  • we can’t do it all
  • we don’t know it all
  • we are wise when we allow others to use their gifts and talents to help us
  • we weren’t created to live life in isolation, apart from the help of others

These truths are what sets us free – free to cease striving, free to seek out the generosity of others, free to live the way we were meant to.  And when we truly operate from these truths and give ourselves permission to ask for help we find that:

  • others want to help us
  • we can accomplish more when we accept others’ help than we can alone
  • we aren’t weak but wise because we know our limits and honor them
  • we can bless others by allowing them to use their strengths to help us
  • being open to asking for help encourages others to do the same

It’s been a long, hard journey for me but I’m finally over the hump.  I have given myself the freedom and the permission to ask others for help.  In return, I have learned the beauty of receiving help and the difference it has made in my life.Ask for help

**Download your Permission Slip to Ask for Help here

It can make a difference in your life too.  If you’re willing to give yourself permission.

Are you willing to ask others for help? Why or why not?

What changes do you need to make to give yourself permission to ask for help?









Giving Yourself Permission to Say No

Giving Yourself Permission to Say No

*This post is part of a 5-part life organization series about Giving Yourself Permission.  To see all the posts in this series, click here.

As a people pleaser, I have a hard time saying NO.  Whether it’s a request for help or an invitation to fun, my mouth is usually saying “Yes” while my brain is screaming, “No!”   I never want to upset or disappoint anyone, so I rarely decline anything.

Honestly, that’s no way to live.

By saying “Yes” to everyone’s requests, I was saying “No” to the hopes and dreams I had for myself.  In doing so I never found the joy and happiness I longed for.  I knew that if I ever hoped of reaching my goals in life I had to learn to say NO.

No means no, right?

While it may sound simple to just say NO, for me it wasn’t that easy.

When others asked me to do something, I would catch myself agreeing, but then realized what I was doing and say NO. Rather than leaving it there though, guilt caused me to make excuses why I couldn’t commit. Ultimately,  I offered to help in other ways.

Not much progress.

I had to learn that I was free to say NO without any guilt, any excuses, or any reasons.  Period.

If I wanted to have full control over myself, my life and my dreams, I was going to have to take it a step further.  I was going to have give myself permission to say NO.

Giving Myself Permission

Unlike the permission slips I handed out to my elementary students, allowing them to go or do as they pleased, there was no one who was going to give me permission to say NO.  I had to do that for myself.

But first I had to understand a few basic truths:

  • When I say yes to something, I am saying no to something else.
  • NO is a complete sentence.  It does not need additional words or explanations.
  • Either I control NO, or it controls me.
  • NO is a boundary and a limit that is meant to help me, not hurt me.
  • When I say NO, I’m making a choice for myself and for what really matters to me.
  • If the person I’m saying NO to truly cares for me, they will respect my NO, even if it inconveniences them.
  • Saying NO doesn’t mean I’m a bad person.
  • Saying NO is good for me mentally, emotionally, and physically.

With these truths rooted in my mind and heart, I was free to say NO and be okay with myself and my decisions.

Free to Say NO

While it’s been a struggle, I am getting better.   Of course, I don’t say NO to everything, but I have learned that there are certain things that I am free to say NO to:

  • Stuff that distracts me and wastes my time (email, social media, TV)
  • Stuff that stresses me out and gives me anxiety (shopping with kids, shopping at busy times)
  • Stuff that drains my energy (negativity, activities that aren’t in my sweet spot)
  • Stuff I feel obligated to that I shouldn’t be (parties, holiday expectations)
  • Stuff that I don’t actually need to do (like handmaking Halloween costumes)
  • Stuff I can’t control or isn’t my responsibility

Having the freedom to say NO to these things has taken such a load off of me.  I no longer feel bound or obligated to things, which in turn has brought much more happiness and joy to my life!  Who wouldn’t want that?

Giving Yourself Permission

If you are like me and you struggle saying NO,  can I ask you to consider giving yourself permission to say NO? I know it’s not easy, but it is possible.  And with that freedom comes a new outlook and perspective on life!

Here are a few things you can do to help you get started:

  • Be aware of your tendencies to always say “Yes” and determine what is motivating you to do that.
  • Read through the truths about NO and see which ones you have yet to internalize.  Choose one to focus on for the next month and work towards building an understanding of that truth.  Continue focusing on these truths over time.
  • Make a list of the things you want to give yourself permission to say NO to (feel free to use my list as a starting point!) and then work towards being more inclined to decline! No guilt, no excuses, no reasons.
  • Print out this permission slip as a reminder for yourself that you are free to say NO. Post it where you can see it and be encouraged by it.

  • Evaluate yourself at the end of 3 months and see how you are doing.  It may not be easy, but some progress is better than no progress!

At some point in our lives, we have to put our foot down and be willing to say NO.  Not because we want to hurt others or let them down, but because we know it’s the right thing to do for ourselves.  The first step in having that type of freedom in our lives starts with giving ourselves permission.

Are you willing to give yourself permission to say NO?

Do you struggle with saying NO?  Why?

How could giving yourself permission to say NO make a difference in your life?

Leave a comment and let me know!





Giving Yourself Permission Series

Giving Yourself Permission Series

Too often, you and I don’t give ourselves permission. We feel obligated to do anything and everything, and in the process, we wear ourselves out. Most of the time, that’s to our detriment.

With that realization came the idea to write a special series about giving ourselves permission:

  • Permission to Say No
  • Permission to Let Go
  • Permission to Limit My Activities
  • Permission to Ask for Help
  • Permission to Create a Healthy Environment

You may be asking….what does any of this have to do with getting organized? Well, organizing isn’t just about the physical organization of your stuff and your spaces. It’s also about ordering your whole life so that you can pursue the hopes and dreams you might have.

And that’s what I want to focus on with this series – life organization – and helping you find the balance in it. I honestly believe that can be achieved by giving yourself permission in these areas.


My $5 Jewelry Storage Makeover!

My $5 Jewelry Storage Makeover

While I’ve never claimed to be perfectly organized, I know that as Professional Organizer any type of disorganization on my part is often frowned upon. That’s why I recently shared the “dark” secret of my most disorganized space (my garage) and the story behind it.  Now I’m revealing my second most disorganized space – my jewlery storage – and showing you exactly how I organized it, and spent less than $5 in the process!

My hidden jewelry

When we moved into our new house 2 1/2 years ago, one of my biggest issues was how to store my jewelry.  In my old house my husband had built a pegboard storage system in my closet so I could easily choose which pieces of jewelry I wanted to accessorize my outfits with.  Sadly, I didn’t get to bring that pegboard system with me to my new house.

I didn’t sulk over it too long because I assumed I would just go back to the hardware store and start over with a new pegboard.  However, my new closet and bathroom configuration didn’t leave any wall space for a jewelry pegboard organizer.  So rather than come up with an alternate solution, I simply stashed my jewelry in a cabinet and left it there.

A tangled mess

There were several problems with my lazy solution:

  • The storage unit where I haphazardly threw my jewelry had doors on it so I never saw my jewelry.  Out of sight meant out of mind, and because I never saw my pieces, I never wore them.
  • Because I didn’t take the time to lay out my jewelry, it became a tangled mess, giving me another reason not to wear any of it.
  • Clutter expands to the space you give it.  Because I just threw my jewelry into the first available space I could find, it somehow took over more space than I had originally intended and seemed to be everywhere.

Here’s a picture of the chaos known as my jewelry storage:

Jewelry storage makeover

Frustrated by all the mess, I knew it was time for me to do something.

A jewelry storage makeover

With my limited options I had to think of a solution that would work in the space I had, without breaking the bank.

As I surveyed both my closet and my bathroom space, I knew that the only real choice for me was to take advantage of any vertical space I could find.  The bathroom had none available so the closet was my only hope for a solution.

The back of my closet door would have been the ideal location for an over-the-door organizer to hang my jewelry, but my closet doors are unusually tall and no commercial organizer from Elfa or Closetmaid would work for me. With the back of the doors no longer an option, I started looking at what other vertical space I had in my closet.  My only other choices were the sides of the built-in shelving units.

When I told my husband about my idea to hang a pegboard system on the side of one of the built-in shelving units, he wasn’t fond of that idea.  Although he wanted me to have an organized jewelry system, he didn’t really want me drilling holes into the units to make that happen.

Another plan shot down.

So I went back to the drawing board.  I considered quite a few options until I realized that I was making it more complicated than it needed to be.  After several days of looking online and just staring at the space I had, I came up with an idea that wouldn’t cost me much money and would allow me to repurpose some items I already had around my house!

From mess to magic: the process of getting organized

The answer to my messy jewelry problem came in the form of Command Hooks.  I knew that they came in a variety of colors and sizes and would allow me to hang my jewelry on the side of the built-ins without causing any damage to the surface.  So I decided to purchase a package of small, clear Command Hooks to start.

While I was at the grocery store I decided to pick up a package of the hooks there. The only package option that was available was a 6-count, so I grabbed two packages.  Fortuntely for me, the Command Hooks were on sale that day – buy one, get one free! So I was able to spend $3 ($2.88 + tax) for 12 hooks.

With my purchases complete, I set out to restore order to my beautiful jewelry once again.

First I pulled all my jewelry out of it’s dark dungeon and placed it on a work space:

Jewelry storage makeover

Next, I sorted all the pieces into like groups (by style and by color). Then I purged the pieces I no longer liked, used, or that were broken, and set them aside for either donation or the trash.

Jewelry storage makeover

Once I knew the amount of jewelry I had left, I could then determine the best way to organize and store them on the wall.  I laid everything out like it would be on the wall and measured to make sure I had everything spaced out properly.  Once I was certain everything was the way I wanted it, I put the hooks in place on the side of the built-in:

Jewelry storage makeover - Command Hooks

Once I was sure the hooks were secure, I brought in my jewelry and hung up all my pieces:

Jewelry Storage Makeover - necklaces

Now that the necklaces were take care of, I needed to focus my attention on my bracelets and earrings.  I remembered that my daughter had a bracelet holder in her bedroom that she left behind when she went to college.  It hadn’t been used in over a year, so I dusted it off and decided to give it new life in my closet.  For my earrings, I placed them in a small decorative bowl my daughter had made me.

The only problem was I didn’t have a flat surface in my closet to set the bracelet holder or the earring bowl. Then I remembered I had a small table outside that wasn’t getting much use and decided it would fit perfectly up against the built-ins.  Thankfully it did, and this is how it looked:

Jewelry Storage Makeover - bracelets

And here’s one final picture of it all together:

Jewelry Storage Makeover - final

Frustration alleviated

I absolutely love my new jewelry storage! Not only does it look great, but I feel so much better having my jewelry out so I can see the pieces I have and actually wear them.  Afer 2 1/2 years, my frustration has finally been alleviated.

In the end, I was able to create a jewelry storage system that only cost me a few bucks, I was able to use and repurpose items that weren’t getting much mileage in my house anyway, and I only spent about 30 minutes total on the entire project.  I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get my jewelry organized, I’m just glad that it is!

“It seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

How could my jewelry storage makeover encourage or inspire you to deal

with one of your less-than-organized spaces?

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