Why is asking for help so hard?
That’s why I love and aspire to this quote by Mark Amend — especially the “be brave enough to ask for it” part.
It turns out, asking for help is one area that continues to trip me up. With all of the progress I’ve made in my personal transformation, asking for help is still difficult. Somehow in my head, I have the notion that I am stronger if I go it alone. When in reality, that has not proven true. And when I do need help from those closest to me, there’s still a part of me that secretly hopes and expects them to know it and do so without my asking.
Did I mention, I am a work in progress?!
The truth is, most of the really big things I’ve accomplished in my life — like starting a successful business or losing 200+ lbs & putting myself in the equation — have happened through a combination of my own personal strength and determination AND with the help, support and guidance of others. Just like this quote says.
It’s a pretty well know fact, that we can’t go it alone in life. At times, we all need love, connection, support, encouragement and a helping hand. It’s what makes us human. And, for the most part, we all like to be needed and to give a helping hand. So really asking for help is a beautiful thing. Right?!
One of my five principles for achieving transformative change in your life is to set yourself up for success by building in support and accountability. A support system is absolutely critical and that requires asking the right people for help.
In my own transformation journey, I assembled a team of key people to support me. That included experts — like a mentor who had lived it (thank you O’Neal Hampton), a nutritional/head coach (the amazing Leif Anderson), and personal trainer (my beloved Sandra Swami). It also included friends and others who could share the journey and support my desire for making tough changes to achieve a healthier lifestyle. I even wrote a blog during my journey titled: It takes a village.
Still struggling to ask for help sometimes
So why is it that to this day when I am faced with personal challenges that are really, really hard, my first instinct is to want to be strong and do it on my own? And my second natural instinct is to wish for help and hope that those close to me can just figure it out on their own? Go figure.
This blog topic is relevant and raw today because I’m in one of those life moments where I need help and support. Since my sister’s massive stroke almost three weeks ago, I’ve had personal emotional struggles where I need the support of close friends and family. I’ve been challenged to keep myself in the equation and stay on my healthy living plan, avoiding the temptations to eat over the stress, sadness and worry. And, I’ve had many people disappointments to navigate during a family crisis. Not to mention, the financial worries and a need to ask for financial help on my sister’s behalf.
Through it all I have struggled to get comfortable with the asking. I’ve whined, wallowed, complained, vented and eventually found my way to ask for some help. Those closest to me can attest to this. This quote and a conversation I had with my favorite therapist last week are helping. It has taken me many years to get to a place where I see asking for help as a positive and constructive thing vs. a sign of weakness.
This is the current lesson of my personal transformation and so I document it here — for me and in the hopes it might help those of your struggling with the same thing. When I came across these powerful quotes this weekend, I knew it was a sign that I needed to write this blog. It has helped me to live into this quote: “Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when to ask for help, and brave enough to do it.”
I now finally see being vulnerable and asking for help as an act of personal daring. I am daring greatly! And I think Dr. Brene Brown, the author of Daring Greatly & Rising Strong would see it that way, too.
Cheers. Have a great and in-your-equation week. I hope this inspires you to ask for help when and where you need it. We’re in this together!