“Will you help me?”
Those of us who are givers, over-achievers, and people-pleasers have a terrible time asking this question.
Why do we feel like we are showing weakness if we enlist help from others?
Perhaps it’s because we get personal value from our accomplishments. It could be that we absorb compliments and kudos like Superman absorbs the sun. Maybe we like the sense of control we feel over ourselves and others.
Independence is a good thing. Personal responsibility is a wonderfully positive trait. It is important to feel a sense of pride for a job well done.
But be careful of losing balance. When determination turns into stubbornness and independence becomes isolation, it is time to ask for help.
Asking for help is something I have been consciously working on improving. I am always quick to offer help to someone else, but it is harder to ask for it.
A few months ago I hired a registered dietician to help me get control over my diet. I have lost six pounds so far. More importantly, my tummy feels the healthiest it has ever felt. I would never have taken a digestive enzyme if I had not asked a dietician for help.
After the holidays I asked my husband to hide the several pounds of Lindt chocolates I received. I knew I did not have to will power to refrain from gorging on those tasty morsels. When I feel the siren call of those chocolates, I ask him to grab me one or two. I need help to pace myself.
Last week, I joined with people to create a Mastermind. A Mastermind is a small group of individuals who come together to offer advice and support while holding each other accountable to stretch goals. We met in an online course and wanted to keep the momentum going. We know that together we can accomplish more than we would on our own.
You are not alone.
It takes courage and awareness to ask for help. Reaching out to others is strength, not weakness. Asking for help gives us the space to improve and grow beyond our individual potential.
Where in your life or work can you ask for help? Who can you ask?