Asking For Help

Copyright 2006 Ada Porat

Asking for help is not something we do naturally. We often find it painfully difficult to do because it makes us feel vulnerable, weak or ashamed; and so our fears of rejection and embarrassment get in the way.

In reality, the only real weakness is NOT asking for help. The smartest people I know understand that they do not know everything, and seek to fill those gaps in their knowledge or ability with people who do.

Life is about learning and growth – and in the process, we all need help from time to time along the tricky patches. Beyond each challenge awaits an opportunity for growth; and by asking for help when we need it, we discover solutions, gain new insights, and ultimately empower ourselves.

Why It Is Smart To Ask For Help

If you reach out and ask, you will find that help does arrive and your needs are met, often exceeding your highest hopes! Just take a look at some of the reasons why it is smart to ask for help when you feel stuck:

• The help you need is more likely to arrive if you ask for it! Keeping your problems under wraps does nothing to resolve them, so why not do something positive about it?

• Asking for help lets you manage your energy more effectively. Life balance is all about managing your energy. When you ask for help with a difficulty, it frees up more energy for other areas of your life.

• It opens opportunities to connect to others in new ways. Asking for help makes others aware of how they can support us and strengthens interpersonal ties.

• When we ask for help, we open the door to learning. By opening up to input from others, we expand our own growth and awareness.

• By breaking through fear and facing the challenge of asking, we reclaim our power! Our greatest gifts lie just beyond the things we fear the most – so ask for help even when you fear the repercussions and you will reclaim your power!

How To Ask For Help

Another important aspect of finding help lies in knowing how to ask for it. Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you need help:

• Ask for help as soon as you realize you need it. Ignored problems often escalate and become huge issues that drain energy and resources.

• Recognize that everyone (including you!) deserves a helping hand, for it is in supporting one another that we all benefit and grow.

• Accept that you have nothing to lose except your fear. If the person you approach can help, you’ll learn from the experience. If they turn you down, you can approach another.

• Go to someone you trust. If they don’t have the answer, they’ll likely know someone who does.

• Be clear on what you need. The proven words are, “I need your help.” Simple and to the point!

• Give the person as much detail as possible. Even if you don’t understand what the exact problem is, document what you know about the circumstances as well as what you need.

• Get a commitment. Ask if they are able to support you and in what capacity. Getting a commitment will set your mind at ease and alleviate a lot of stress. Even if they cannot help you themselves, they may offer valuable suggestions or refer you to someone who can help. Either way, you’ll benefit!

• When you find the solution to your problem, document it for future reference. You might run into that problem again someday when no-one is around to help, or you might pass along the information to someone else in need.

Next time you feel exhausted and overwhelmed, ask for the help you need and deserve. Ask despite your fears and with a focus on the rewards. Doing so can provide you with much more than just the help you needed.