We love it when someone asks us for help, yet most of us hate to ask for it ourselves.
Help and strength have a very weird connection. It seems that no matter what end of “help” you are on, whether you are giving it or receiving it, it makes you stronger. It makes you better.
Asking for help was one of the most difficult things for me to do following my accident. I wasn’t used to it. Men don’t ask for help anyhow? We figure it out, tough it out. Like so many others, I viewed asking for help as a sign of weakness. An embarrassment.
What I learned however was just the opposite. At some point in my journey the pain of trying to do it on my own was too much. I began to ask for help and it changed everything. It made me stronger, it made me better.
Asking for help does a couple things. For one, it demonstrates that you are actually pretty comfortable with yourself. You are comfortable enough to know that whatever it is which you are asking help for, it has nothing to do with how strong you view yourself (A matter of fact, its when you don’t ask for help, and instead struggle trying to do it your way, that you will actually look and feel the weakest).
Secondly, it strengthens connections. Asking for help invites vulnerability. We love it when someone is authentic with us, when they let us in on their struggles. We love helping others because it makes us feel good. We feel immediately connected with the person and strangely, also feel more open to being vulnerable with them.
Lastly, we get what we need! We get better. We learn and we grow.
There are 4 major buckets of life – relationships, spirituality, work, self care. Identify one area of your life this week within one of these buckets, an area where you could use some help, where you could use some direction.
Next, identify a person who you see as a master in one of these areas, and ask them for help.
Another helpful practice – Have a list of people who you see as “masters” for each bucket. Take an hour or so on a Sunday and write down a list of people for each bucket. These are the people whom you want to emulate and learn from. They are mentors for this area of life. They will be your resource list.
Now if you are a calendar person like me, you can also put weekly appointments for each bucket, giving yourself some devoted time for each area. It gives you a chance to check in with yourself, see where you’re at, while also giving you the opportunity to strengthen relationships and learn from others.
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