Knowing when and how to ask for help is an act of strength, wisdom, and courage
Although asking for help should be easy, it often feels like more of an emotional challenge than the struggle that comes with keeping quiet and battling out your issues privately. Everyone can relate to being busy, feeling overwhelmed, or facing a situation outside of their expertise, so requesting assistance should be as simple as finding the right helper and asking.
However, admitting that you need help often feels like a sign of weakness and can stir up feelings of insecurity or inadequacy, creating a hesitancy to delegate tasks or to reach out to others as needed. The reality is that asking for help requires wisdom, courage, and a sense of authenticity, and is a skill that everyone would benefit from learning and embracing.
The power of please
Anyone who has raised a child has experienced the “I do it myself!” phase as they began their awkward foray into independence. It’s an important part of development, but there are certain tasks that they simply aren’t capable of completing in spite of their good intentions and determination.
Whether it’s due to time constraints, safety reasons, or skill set, as a parent, you’re all too aware of their current limitations. However, as adults, we don’t allow ourselves the same luxury of a judgment-free assessment of what’s the best current course of action. We perceive any inability as a shortcoming or an admission of our inadequacy.
Cut yourself the same slack.
Some people feel like “doing it all” indicates that they are capable and successful when actually, the opposite is often true. Although you may have an inflated sense of power and importance while juggling many tasks, the reality is that you’re rarely mastering any one thing and very likely to forget something, make a careless mistake, experience burn out, or develop a sense of resentment.
Not only can learning to ask for help alleviate your burdens, but it can also benefit you in ways you’ve been too busy to contemplate:
Practice makes perfect
Even the most successful, independent, type-A personality will need help someday. You may not want it, you won’t want to need it, but it may not even be your choice. Circumstances may dictate that you need assistance, and, particularly if people aren’t used to you requesting it, you may be forced to ask.
Asking for help can be awkward, especially to the inexperienced or people who have previously viewed it as a weakness. Practice early and often – be polite, be authentic, and admit vulnerability. It actually makes you more human, and that’s a good thing.
Empower other people
Insisting on doing everything on your own is often actually a control issue. Either you don’t trust that others are capable or want to help, or you have a need to micromanage your surroundings. Either option is less honorable than being a rock star at life who can handle anything. Get honest about the intention behind your reluctance to ask for assistance.
Also, consider that people that like you often want to help. Think of the people you love in extraordinary circumstances like illness, death, divorce, a new baby, or just an obvious emotional hardship, have you ever felt helpless to do more? Or proud that you were able to lend a hand? Don’t deny that to others. Connections involve mutual investment – allow others the opportunity to contribute to your success.
Build and strengthen connections
As mentioned above, helping others implies trust; trust that the other person is willing and capable, trust that someone can be relied upon.
It also reveals vulnerability; while people may admire those who seem to be doing it all, those “superhuman” people can be difficult to relate to. It takes strength and courage to admit that you can’t handle everything all of the time. Needing help places you and the helper on the same level.
Asking for help also allows you to repay the favor in the future, which creates a lasting bond. Helping others, and accepting help when needed, is how we connect meaningfully as human beings. Asking for help and offering it is an investment in that beneficial interdependence.
Life doesn’t have to be a struggle, and needing assistance isn’t an indicator of your self-worth. In fact, admitting your needs and knowing how to address them is a strength everyone would benefit from cultivating. Change your mindset and evaluate when, where, and how asking for help can have a positive impact not only to your own life but also to the lives of those around you.
If you would like to learn how to become unstoppable like Gigi and find out how to get beyond your limits and fears to really start living with fulfillment, contact her today.