Asking for help can sometimes feel like you are exposing your weak spots, and nobody wants to appear needy or incompetent.
But guess what? That pressure you feel at the thought of asking for help is not related to your abilities. It is caused by your fear! Fear of what people will think. Fear of the unknown responses or potential awkwardness. Fear that this somehow means you are incapable of success.
When you shy away from asking for the help you need, you are allowing fear to drive your behavior you are allowing fear to Win. Your fear is hindering you.
Stop that cycle! Don’t let fear keep you from succeeding. I know, I know…easier said than done. But give me a minute…
I have a friend who realized as an adult that she had major difficulty in asking for help. After much self-evaluation, she realized it all had to do with how her father constantly challenged her to figure out solutions to her problems herself. He wanted to raise a strong, independent daughter who would not need to rely on others. For so much of her life, she was not aware of just how much she was being motivated by her dad’s voice in her head telling her, “You can do it on your own!”
While he wanted the best for her, his motivation drove her perfectionism to the extreme. So, what about you? Have you been programmed to believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness?
Well, guess what? It’s not! And guess what else…no one does it alone. That’s right. We ALL have help along the way.
Want to become the best version of yourself? You can’t do it all alone! We all need help from those around us. Time to stop letting fear control you!
So, where do you start? How do you overcome this fear?
Change your mindset
Asking for help is a compliment! You must really respect someone to value their guidance on something. Most people feel valued when asked for their advice or assistance. Stop seeing it as a burden.
When fear keeps you isolated in your problem, you could be depriving someone of the honor of helping you! Everyone has their unique set of gifts and skills, and most people love the opportunity to use them. You could actually be stealing someone’s joy by not asking them to help you!
It feels good to be able to help someone else, doesn’t it? So let someone else experience that joy too!
Think it through
Determine exactly what you need help with. Take the emotion out of it and list the steps you have already tried and what you cannot seem to overcome. Sometimes approaching it in a practical way makes it seem far less complicated than it has become in your head.
When presenting your problem to someone else, add some possible scenarios to fix it. Communicate that you would like to problem–solve, not just dump your dilemma on them. Then ask for feedback, instead of help. This portrays your commitment to teamwork and your value of another’s wisdom.
Find the right person to ask
Approach a good listener. Make sure they are equipped to help you. Do they have the time? The resources? The knowledge? (Don’t let the little voices in your head answer those questions for you, by the way!)
Remember, not asking for help can potentially be even more problematic for you. Your boss or partner may already see where you need help and may be wondering why you lack the self-awareness to see it for yourself. Or, they may see your independence as a sign of immaturity or lacking teamwork.
The truth is, you can’t do everything! No one can. But you have skills and strengths that are unique to you! Let this knowledge build your confidence and help you move away from the fear that is holding you back.