How do you ask for help? My grandma used to say, “Be independent, but not too independent.” I didn’t know what she meant in my 20’s, but it became crystal clear at 40. Independence is noble, but to ask for help from another human being . . . takes courage. When you desire the help of another you create a beautiful collaboration. When you begin to ask for help, it’s one of the most courageous things you can do.
Why? It’s darn scary. You reveal you’re vulnerable and your desire to gain support. And gaining support is one of the greatest things on earth.
Did I always feel this way? I think not.
Asking for help from friends or family made me nauseous. “Why would any smart, resourceful, think on her feet woman need the help of others?” I reasoned. “If I can’t handle every task I’m given, something must be wrong… with me.”
After all, I never heard my mom, grandma, or aunts ask for help.
But, I don’t recall ever asking them.
And, if I did, I bet they’d tell me they wanted to. . . and never knew they could.
After reexamining my life, I realized I had something to prove. I wanted the world to see me as smart, resourceful, and strong. Strong people just get it done. Period. I wanted to tuck away any piece that waved, “Please help me.”
Have you ever had your mouth utter, “No thank you” while your heart said “Help?”. . .
“Please help me?”
Then, welcome to the tribe.
Your heart knows that asking for help will lift the weight off your shoulders and ease your mind. Here’s how to cast those thoughts of weakness and neediness away:
Tell Yourself “It is o.k.”
The moment I admitted how afraid I was, I felt a twinge of relief. In your heart of hearts
just say, “I’m afraid to ask, and that’s o.k.” It is o.k. to feel afraid, needy, or helpless.
It really is o.k.
When your child tells you how afraid they are of________. You warmly reply,
“It is o.k.”
This will wash away any guilt that feeling what you’re feeling is wrong. You have every right
to feel. Don’t ever judge or squash your feelings. Just allow yourself to feel.
It’s o.k. to need help, want help, and ask for help.
Tell Yourself “I will not be rejected. . . just embraced”
Isn’t that the real fear? You’ll ask for help and be rejected? Well my friend, you won’t. Unless of course you go up to a complete stranger. . . and even then, many will try to help you. But, when you ask loved ones and friends you’ll get a “Wow!” “Me?” . . .
“I’m honored you chose me.”
So, before you think my old dominating thought, “My friends have too much to do, I’m being
selfish,” think about what you would say if the tables were turned.
You would feel honored.
Even if you couldn’t help due to personal obligations. . . you would feel honored and probably tell them who could help.
You will not be rejected. . . tell yourself. You will make those you ask feel honored. Their hearts will smile just because you asked.
Today, my husband and sons feel the same sense of honor. . . every time I ask. They tell
me “Helping you makes me feel good,” not in words but in smiles and . . . my
husband whistles when he helps.
That says it all.
So, every time those feelings of weakness or neediness surface. . . remember how strong you really are. Remember how much courage it takes to ask for help and realize you deserve it. Then, tell yourself “It’s o.k.” You will be embraced by those you love and give them a feeling of . . . “Wow!” “Me?”
“I’m so honored you chose me.”
Are you feeling more or less fearful when it comes to asking for help? Please share your experience.