It’s 2 am and I can’t sleep (I’m feeling the jet lag from my recent trip to Hawaii). My internal clock is kicking my rear! Instead of trying to go back to sleep, I’ve decided to write about how I learned to ask for help after being independent for many years. Let’s just say that jetlag is good for something!
I thought I had finally adjusted to the time change and five hours difference the day before I was scheduled to fly back from Hawaii. I just didn’t realize how much harder it would be when I had to come home. (Please note that this blog was written before the travel bans.) Either way, it’s an opportunity to share with you why I didn’t let people help me for years and what I realized about myself when I explored that sometimes not-so-great habit.
I’m An Independent Person
Generally, I’m quite an independent person, really. Honestly, I’d rather just do it myself. I’m also stubborn, I admit it, so that doesn’t help me either. To tell you the truth, I would do just about anything to not have to rely on anybody else. It comes from many years of not being able to rely on someone close to me, so I learned to just do it myself. And now, asking for help is one of the last things I think of when I need something.
I’m not saying there is anything wrong with doing it yourself! Being independent is great! Us independents have it made when a crisis hits. Truth, right?
But, when I took a step back to find out the deep reason why I never wanted to ask for help, I had to face a hard truth.
Why I Didn’t Ask for Help
I realized that I felt like I wasn’t smart enough or strong enough to do it on my own. If I asked for help, it meant I was showing weakness. I also thought reaching out meant I was a little broken, that I didn’t have it all together. So instead, I would struggle and struggle until it was either done or it was “good enough.”
Thinking back on it, I realize how fruitless the struggle was. Yep, I haven’t figured it all out. I mostly struggle with deciding when to take the advice/help. But, I’m working on it!
After much work, I now know when I reach out, it’s because I trust or value you enough to be vulnerable with you. Someone who is worthy, will not shame you into thinking negative thoughts about needing help. Anyone who does… Well, you should reconsider their place in your life.
Another Side to Needing Others
There is another side to asking for help that we usually don’t think about. It isn’t just about the person asking for help. How about the ones offering help or the ones we reach out to for help?
First, it makes them feel needed. Don’t we all want to feel needed every once in a while? It also allows those who help us to show us how they feel. They want us to know that we are special to them in one way or another.
I’m sure somebody close to me pointed out how selfish I was being by not allowing others to help me. When I didn’t let people in, I wasn’t giving my loved ones the ability to show up for me. Again, I am a work in progress, so asking for help isn’t exactly easy for me yet. I’m getting there.
Do you know what else happens when we ask for help? We feel valued and loved when we are receiving help. Who wouldn’t want to feel that?
Ask for Help When You Need It
As everything seems to be semi-controlled chaos right now, just remember, we do have control over how we will respond to any situation. Maybe it’s my recent trip that helped, but I seem to be okay just going with the flow of things and being proactive when I need to be. During these times, it may seem overwhelming trying to prepare for what is ahead. Ask for help! Have faith! The storm will end.
Live life on your terms,