Asking for help
“Oh my God, I can’t do this anymore” he sobs.
“Help!” Whispered so softly, he could barely hear the desperation in his own voice.
Asking for help sucks.
It’s one of the hardest things to do. I’m not just referring to people in recovery or people with any illness or character flaws. This applies to all ‘seemingly strong individuals.’
People that often offer us help
Very often, we don’t even need to ask for help! It could be starring us right in the face, but still, we would politely decline and continue suffering. The saddest part of all, is that most of the time, these people are actually sincere when offering the help and genuinely are extending a much needed helping hand.
I can think of so many people that have offered me help and in fear of coming across as weak or helpless, I would usually say; “No thank you, I’m okay.” Very often, I would then sit in self pitiful state, believing that I’m all alone in this world feeling incredibly helpless, even though the help was offered to me, I just foolishly declined it because of my own insecurities. We often turn relatively simple problems into complex multi-layered problems just because we struggle to accept help.
Asking for help.
So I think it’s clear that asking for help is very hard for a lot of us, yet, there are often so many times that we don’t even need to ask for help. It’s there already, we just refuse to take it, because we either believe that we can do everything on our own or our pride has the better of us.
Now we are not always so fortunate to be offered help and it sometimes gets to the point when our desperation gets so bad that we are left with no option but to ask for help.
You often hear people saying; “asking for help is one of the biggest acts of humility.” Asking for help can be very risky. There’s the risk of being rejected, the fear of appearing to be lazy, weak, incompetent. The shame and embarrassment that could possibly follow.
“Ugh!!!! It’s all horrible! You know what?! Screw it. I’m sure I can do it myself”
I had to learn to ask for help, otherwise all the other personal development tools I have learnt would become fruitless.
Personally, asking for help is an act of humility, because it is understanding and accepting that I cannot do everything myself, that I am not a superpower I have subconsciously made myself out to be.
So I started asking for “help” because I realized that if I did not do so, I would be holding back on my personal growth. In order for me to achieve great things, I sometimes needed help and that’s okay.
So I started “asking for help”, but I soon realized that I was not asking for the help because I wanted to, I was merely complying and asking for ‘help’ because I was ‘forced’ to. Secretly though, I did not see the value in it. I did not see why humiliating myself and admittedly confessing that ‘I was weak’ could help. It then clicked;
In order for me to ask for help and truly benefit from it, I need to first see or understand the value in asking for help.
It was only when I started realizing and seeing the value in asking for help that I understood why asking for help is so important and just how much it can benefit, not only myself, but the person I’m asking the help from. When I help someone, I do it, not only for that person, but for myself as well. By helping others, I feel good about myself, knowing that I did something to positively impact another person.
I had to discover the value in asking for help. This was not easy though. It’s often hard to change a behavior that you have become so accustomed to, overnight. So the first step was to realize that I would not be able to achieve asking for help successfully overnight and that it would probably take a lot of practice. Little victories and a lot of feeling of shame, embarrassment and discontent I have associated with asking for help over the years.
Secondly, I had to assess why it was so incredibly difficult for me to ask for help. The problem wasn’t me asking for help, the problem was all the negative associations I had with asking for help. Personally I struggled to ask for help, because as a child, I often felt that it was my place to be seen and not heard. I had a very lonely childhood and was often left to my own devices, so doing everything on my own became the norm.
Once I started addressing these underlying issues, I started off small. It was very difficult, but I risked it. I would ask for help with small things and simply observe the response and the final outcome.
Asking for help can be hard for a lot of us, but rather than forcing yourself to ask for help because you know you have to. Perhaps try digging a bit deeper first and understand why asking for help is difficult for YOU. Once you have that understanding, it becomes a much easier life skill to overcome.