Question: Why do we make things harder than they have to be? Why are so many of us reluctant to ask for help when we need it? Often times it comes down to one simple reason: Fear. What do we fear? We fear exposing ourselves. We worry that we will be perceived as needy or helpless or weak. We fear embarrassment or shame. We don’t want people to see that we, and our lives, aren’t perfect. Let me clear something up for you…there is no such thing as perfection. It simply doesn’t exist.
While it may sound simple enough, accepting help is something that is extremely challenging for all of us at one time or another. It can be particularly hard for those who have a mindset, or limiting belief, that suggests that seeking help is something that should not be done. I’m here to say if revealing your situation to a friend, family member, or colleague might prove helpful, then it pays to step outside of your comfort zone. For crying out loud, shorten your learning curve or path to success whenever and however you can!
To make it a little easier, be sure you are crystal clear about what it actually is that you need, and practice articulating it. That will make it easier for you to ask and easier for those around you to know exactly how to help. And keep in mind that everyone has his or her strengths and weaknesses. Don’t ask your antisocial friend for networking ideas and opportunities. But definitely ask the friend who has a wide web of diverse connections.
Here are three tips to help you ask for help.
- The next time you could use a little help sorting out a work problem, carrying a heavy box, getting an introduction or referral, etc., act on it. Decide on whom you will ask, practice the request in your head, and go ask for help. Take action now.
- Remember, in order to ask for help, you need to be strong enough to accept that you have weaknesses (no-one is perfect!). You need to be stronger still to accept help. While burying or ignoring problems may seem strong, it is the same as running and hiding.
- Try swapping skills instead of just asking for help. Offer up something you can do easily in exchange for things you need help with.
At the end of the day keep in mind, asking for help is giving someone the chance to be helpful. And that makes everyone feel good. xo. ~KG