It should be easy. Why wouldn’t we ask for help? We constantly help others. We have different strengths and we know that we can learn from those around us. We have our friends, family, colleagues and community.
And yet, somehow, my clients often say “I don’t like asking for help” or “I should be able to do this on my own” or “I don’t need to ask, they should know”.
Why is it so hard to ask for support?
Perhaps some of these reasons resonate with you:
- We believe that we are the caretakers, the ones that should solve problems for others.
- We believe that we are capable, smart individuals (which you are) and therefore we should be able to do it on our own.
- We believe it’s selfish to ask for help and we never want to be perceived as selfish.
- We believe that our to-do list is very important and should take priority over how we feel.
- We have asked for help in the past and have not received the support we needed.
- We believe that we have no control over our present situation and we can’t create change.
As human beings we ALL need support from others at different times. How can you more easily ask for help from others? Start from within you.
- Accept how you are feeling and be curious about where these feelings might be coming from. Feelings are a great source of information about what we need.
- Get to know yourself – your strengths, your values, and what you need.
Then look for your choir, as Dr. Maria Sirois likes to say. Ask yourself who can support you. Choose the people you want support from or who might be able to give it to you. It might not be the people you live with or see every day.
Once you know what you need, ask for it clearly. Be specific. Remember that most of the time others don’t know what we need or how to help us.
Once you have asked for help, how can you receive this support?
Know that some people will give you the support you ask for and others will not. This is likely about their own barriers and needs. Don’t take it personally.
Remember these wise words from my mother:
Give and forget.
Receive and never forget.
I could write a whole post on just these words, but today I want you to focus on “receive and never forget”. Pay attention to those that do offer help, appreciate it and let them know that you are grateful.
Remember that when we connect with others we can see things more clearly and find new perspectives, new strengths and the courage to make different choices.
Remember that asking for help is about caring for ourselves.
Remember that as human beings we are not meant to go through life alone.
Remember that if it was easy to create the changes that you want by yourself you would have already done it.
Having had coaches myself and having worked with hundreds of clients I absolutely believe that we should all work with external professional support at different points in our lives. Asking for support will accelerate our personal transformation and make the journey of personal development invigorating and exciting.
Ask for help. Connect and share with your choir. If you could do it alone you would have already done it.