Think back for a moment about the last time you asked for help. Maybe it was while unloading the groceries from your car. Maybe it was asking your partner to clean up the house or asking a family member if you could borrow money.
How did you feel when you were asking for that help?
I'm not exactly sure when I decided that I couldn't ask for help, that it was a sign of my personal weakness. Now, if you were to ask me for something, that's a different story. I'd most likely bend over backwards to help you without any judgment whatsoever. But for me to ask you for help? Sheesh. That's a tough one. And equally challenging for me is accepting someone's help.
I'd like to pin it on my age and some unreasonable expectation that I have that feels like, by 50 years old, I should have accomplished this or that, should have this thing or done that thing. I realize that it goes further back than that. I can't blame my ex husband or my family either, though both honestly fed the beast, as does coming from a long familial line of martyrs.
So why is it so difficult to ask for and accept help?
While asking for and receiving help can chip away at our pride and fragile egos, they can also make us stronger.
When was the last time you were living outside of your comfort zone? I'd be willing to bet that at that same point you could've also really used some help. In living boldly, we take more chances. And it's in those risky times that having a helping hand could really be not only useful but completely appreciated.
I've found that I'm more likely to ask for help out of self preservation. For the last 12 years I've had a career that is very physical. At times I've pushed myself way too much, and boy have I paid for it. To some extent I still do. Now it's time to take care of myself in a whole different way and put myself at the top of my list. I'm having other teachers take over some of my classes to give my body and mind a much-needed break (as well as allowing me to grow the business side of this gig, while not having a brain that's mush at the end of the day). I'm having my kids do lots more around the house to help out. I'm opting out of events if I'm feeling overloaded.
It feels good, this new philosophy. Maybe you'd like to join me?
What if we did this together, you and I?
What if we asked for help on the smaller things to get used to the ask instead of waiting until we're at our rope's end? What if, every time someone offers us help, we accept it? I'm game if you are.
Share your thoughts below and we'll hold each other's hands in the process.