Sometimes the answer is as simple and as complex as asking for help. Why is it in this day and age that we as humans find such a simple thing as asking for help so dang complicated?
The answer to that is simple. . . fear. Fear of judgement. Fear of rejection. Fear people will think we are incompetent, or won’t take us seriously. Fear we won’t get the help if we do ask for it. Fear is a powerful emotion. In it’s useful form it can keep us from mortal danger, our body intrinsically sending us into a fight or flight response so we can protect ourselves from harm. In other forms it can cause us to freeze like a deer in headlights or in it’s most irrational form can cause us to develop a phobia.
Asking for help is not something that should ever be frowned upon. People who ask for help are brave! John Wooden said “We’re all imperfect and we all have needs. The weak usually do not ask for help, so they stay weak. If we recognize that we are imperfect, we will ask for help and we will pray for the guidance necessary to bring positive results to whatever we are doing.”
My personal theory is to take a deep breath and ask for help when you need it. The worst possible outcome of asking for help is that the person you ask can say no, they won’t help you, which means you are not better or worse off than before you asked. If the person says yes and does assist you, the aid they give could considerably change your situation for the better. Most people are willing to assist when a request for assistance is made. (It’s almost as hard to say no to helping someone as it is difficult to ask for help.)
When asking for help keep a few things in mind.
1. Know what you want to ask. Be direct and specific with your request for help. People are not mind readers. Asking for help is similar to setting goals in that requests should be specific, measurable and time bound.
2. Don’t assume people are all on a level playing field. Everyone has different areas of expertise. For the most part people do not know everything you know and you do not know everything they know. In asking for help you are asking someone to share their personal knowledge and expertise, and in asking for help you may both learn something.
3. Help is a two way street. Don’t just ask for help but help foster a community where help is encouraged by also offering help or by giving help to others when the requests are made of you.
If we all take a little time to help each other great things happen!!! I’ll end with a quote from Cesar Chavez “You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.” This folks, is simple truth.