Asking for help sounds like such a simple thing to do, doesn’t it? When you’re overwhelmed, stuck, or just needing a hand, reaching out to the people around you seems like a no-brainer. For so many people, though, learning how to ask for help is a challenge. Whether it’s pride that gets in your way or the fear that you’ll be disappointed and ultimately just have to do things yourself, sometimes, asking for help feels harder than the thing you actually need help with.
I’ve learned over the years that asking for help is a strength. It’s something I’ve had to work at. But once I realized just how important and helpful it is to get help when you need it, it started to get easier. So today, I’m sharing how to ask for help and use your resources. Let this blog be your gentle nudge to work at it, too.
What’s Kept Me From Asking in the Past
I’m not going to sugar coat it: I suck at asking for help. Want to know why? Because for years, I felt like I couldn’t depend on other people. I developed the attitude of, “I’ll do it myself because I know it will be done and I won’t be disappointed.”
I’ve always known it’s important to seek help, but after you’re disappointed so many times, it can be difficult. You come to expect a letdown, that feeling of putting trust and faith into someone only to be regret asking in the first place.
I’ve come a long way and gotten much more comfortable trusting the people in my inner circle, and who I work with, to help me when I need it. But I can’t pretend it’s easy. I still have to work at it. I still have to remind myself that not asking for help doesn’t make things easier and it doesn’t make me some sort of superwoman. Asking for help makes me stronger: I know myself well enough to know what support I need, and I’m proud of that!
The Times I’ve Needed Help But Couldn’t Ask for It
There have been plenty of times I knew I should have asked for support or assistance but didn’t. At work, even now, I should delegate more than I do. In the past, I took it upon myself to do a lot of things because it was easier than relying on someone else. I get overwhelmed by how much I have on my plate, despite the fact that I have a great team I can count on now.
Asking for help doesn’t just challenge me at work. At home, during my marriage, there were so many things I would feel like I had to do myself out of the fear of being disappointed. Tasks as simple as taking out the garbage were easier for me to do, instead of sharing those responsibilities. That’s because asking for help and not getting it was more stressful to me than that feeling of having to do it all alone.
In my branding business, there are definitely times I should use my resources. My brand is about me, and I feel like I should be part of everything I create. It was hard for me to simply ask someone to look something up or help me create the content I needed. It took me forever to get to a point where I could do that. Now that I do, it’s made a world of difference in my productivity. But let me tell you, I struggled!
People Want to Help You
I’ve talked before about what a positive change it’s been for me to focus on my inner circle, the people I keep close and trust. One of the benefits of cultivating that amazing group of people is that I can lean on them and count on them for help when I need it. When you have good people around you, it’s not so hard to welcome their help.
And you know what? It makes people feel good when you ask them for help. The people who are close to you, especially, notice when you’re struggling. They’re the first to see when you’re overwhelmed or having a hard time. They want you to succeed and they want to help you do that.
In the past, I didn’t always get a good vibe from people when I would say I needed help. You know, I’d get the “You need me to do what?… I suppose…” kind of answer. The kind that makes you wish you hadn’t asked at all. They’d agree to help me, but I’d end up having to do it myself, anyway, because helping me wasn’t important to them.
I’m getting much better at asking the people around me to help me, and I’m seeing positive reinforcements of why I should keep working on it! Asking for help helps me feel less overwhelmed. At the same time, it tells important people in my life that I value and need them.
Asking for Help is a Good Thing
I can’t say that asking for help is a strength of mine just yet, but I’m definitely making progress! Getting more comfortable asking for help has let me feel much less overwhelmed by what’s on my plate at work and at home. I have a good, core group of people I depend on. Sometimes they have to remind me to ask them for help, and I know they do that because they care.
My inner circle is really strong and my relationships with them are better because I ask them for help. It’s a give and take: they take things off my plate and feel good doing that, and I do the same for them. I’m learning to depend on them more and it’s a gift to have them in my life.
Pushing Past My Hesitance
When I get that all-too-familiar voice in my head saying, “Just do it yourself,” I remind myself of a few things:
- The people I turn to for help are dependable.
- Asking for help isn’t a bother: It’s a sign that I know what I need.
- Not asking for help isn’t going to make things easier.
- The more I ask, the easier it gets to do it.
At home, I have my family in my corner. At work, I have a team that wants to see me, and the business we’re building together, succeed. When the people close to me see something isn’t right or that I’m taking on too much, they’re not afraid to remind me they can help me.
I also have peers in my industry who understand what I’m experiencing and encourage me to seek out help. The towing ladies in my life vent with me and we help each other by sharing what’s worked for us all. Finding like-minded people to interact and network with has helped me see that I’m not the only one who feels like I need to do it all and that it’s okay to ask for support.
Don’t Be Afraid
I know all too well how hard it is to tell someone you need their help. But let me be the person to tell you that getting comfortable with it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Recognizing the areas in your life where you feel overwhelmed or where you’re struggling, and reaching out for support, will make you feel stronger, happier, and honestly, freer. Trust me on this one.
Do you struggle to accept help, or is it something you’ve mastered in your life? Leave me a comment so we can learn from each other’s experiences!