It’s ironic that the majority of us are always offering our support and encouragement to other people, yet we tend to have such a huge issue with asking someone for it when we ourselves are in a pickle.
Personally, I do ask for help in certain situations, such as helping with the cleaning, cooking, or borrowing something, you know, the smaller requests. But when things get a little more serious, I become a recluse and block off that support network. Overthinking whether or not I should share my problems with someone is a huge downfall of mine. I have such an overwhelming fear that will be judged for being stupid and dramatic, or that I will be seen as too weak to do it on my own. This mental block has prevented many issues from being resolved in a shorter timeframe and with less effort because there are wonderful people around who would genuinely be there for me.
Being seen to be confident, self-assured and ‘having it all together’ is very pressurising, especially in today’s world. We are taught to be independent, self-confident, strong and brave in all aspect of life. So the idea that we may actually need support to overcome an obstacle, can stop us from sharing our most troubling thoughts and emotions, leaving us very vulnerable. So it is really no wonder there is such a stigma around asking for help, no matter what degree of help that may be.
However, we are human. We feel the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
It is fundamental that we experience all of these feelings because it is where growth takes place inside ourselves.
The reality of the matter is there is NO shame what so ever in asking for help. In fact, it is a sign of true strength and courage to admit that we need somebody else with us.
1. Stop Doubting
Constantly questioning whether it is okay to be worried about something or whether you actually need someone else to advise you can only make think matters worse. Getting past the initial barriers you have over asking for help is often the first hurdle. Try to stop thinking about what others may think about you, and focus on what is needed the most to benefit you in the long run.
2. You are worthy
It’s okay to be struggling, as I mentioned earlier, you are human, it’s our thing to dip from time to time. Despite your worries, you are always worthy to receive, love, care, and support from others. One of the fundamental needs we all possess is to have a strong sense of community with other people. By reaching out and sharing your problems, you are creating such a strong bond between you and that other person.
3. Seek the Best
A vital step in the process is choosing who to ask with a lot of thought. Rushing to the first person may feel like the right thing to do but that person might be able to help you in the best way possible. Only through experience have I learned this for myself (call it trial and error), but it now means that whenever a problem arises, I spend a little time thinking who is the most appropriate person to go to. This could be someone close to you; your parents, siblings or friends, as they are more than likely to be ready to help. Or if the problem needs professional advice, do not be afraid to approach the right pathways to getting that much-needed help; that is what they are there for.
4. When & Where
Another consideration to think of is when and where you are going to ask for help. It is unlikely you are going to get the most effective response from someone if you don’t take into account what they are doing and where you are both at the time. Finding a good time and place that works for both of you, so that the other person can give you their full attention and you can feel relaxed knowing there are as little distractions going on.
5. Be Honest
When you ask for help, this is often the first time that this person is really hearing about how you feel, so you need to be as open and honest about everything in order for them to get a clearer picture of where you are at. After all, they can’t help you in the best way if they don’t know all that is needed to be known. Do you want something to change or do you simply want to be heard? Make a point to let that person know what you are hoping for by asking them for support.
6. Actions Speak Louder
Once you have established what can be done to help you, then it is now a matter of putting those plans into action and sticking with it. This is can be extremely difficult, but going back to the step two, you deserve to make this change for yourself. Ultimately it is you that does the majority of the work to get the outcome you hope for, so it is vital you remind yourself of your worth and believe in yourself enough to get you to where you want to be.
My parents taught me how wonderful appreciating something or someone can be. It is lovely for the helper to hear how thankful you are for what they have done to support you because they have put their time and effort into resolving or assisting you. Also, what is even more amazing about that positive energy you give out, is that it echoes back to you too. Seeing how happy someone over your appreciation is a fantastic feeling. In a way, you are helping them to continue offering help to others again. The cycle of gratitude is a beautiful thing, so be sure to make it carry on going around.
Would love to hear your thoughts on asking for help and how you go about it yourself.