When is the last time you asked for help? I don’t mean ” Babe can you open the jar of pickles?” help. I mean real, swallow your pride and ask for it H.E.L.P. If you’re a pro at this already then I applaud you and you get a gold star. However, if you’re like me then you may be trying your best to balance everyone’s needs except your own and pretending it’s a breeze. I’m guessing you are wishing you had a few clones and some more resources to help with those necessary and stressful tasks like washing dishes and starting a savings account. I know you are probably pretending that being an independent do-it-yourself-er is super fulfilling but the real you is waving a white flag and hoping for some rescue! I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to do it alone and learning how to ask for help is a valuable key to success.
Learning to ask for help is critical to survival and it starts with a powerful concept called vulnerability. According to Brené Brown, an expert on the subject, “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation and change.” The act of being vulnerable allows you to acknowledge to yourself and others that you’ve tried your best but you can’t do it alone. It means being strong enough to let others in on some of your dark secrets and scary situations, fully knowing they could laugh in your face or damn you to hell. It means recognizing that you need other people and you’re not a super hero. No judgement here if you have been ignoring it all… I GET IT!! Please know that a few steps beyond all that pesky pride business and silly fear is a loving team of fellow humans looking for people to help! They just need to understand how they can be of service. The perfect example is ME!! So, if you need more advice or some questions answered please send me an email and let me know how I can help.
Once you have identified that you cannot (or should not) do “it” alone, it’s time to start the real work and that’s finding the best form of help and asking for it. Receiving help when you’re in need is wonderful, but it won’t have lasting effects if it’s the kind of help that isn’t actually helpful. Like when my 4 yr old demands to help make the bed but she just lays there giggling in the sheets. Or when you begrudgingly offer to let your unemployed buddy stay with you til they get on their feet, which you fully know won’t actually help them find a job or a place. “Helpful” help is the kind that is mutually beneficial, meaning that there is some greater good that will come to all the people participating in the task. Whether it is a helpful feeling or an exchange of goods and services, all parties should be able to settle into some feeling of ‘this is a good idea’ for things to really flow.
Recently I was asked by a customer of mine if I would help her apply the henna hair color kit she had purchased online. Jen admitted to me she was nervous to do it alone the first time and she wanted an expert to assist her. I hadn’t worked with henna much and I love to try new things so of course I was totally happy to help out! Working together we achieved mutually satisfying results and we had fun!. Jen got the shiny red glow she was after on her new hair and I got to learn more about using henna as a hair dye. Check back in next week to read all about it and learn some more about henna dye and other “natural” hair colors. Now let’s imagine what could have happened if Jen had asked my 4 yr old to help her. She definitely would’ve said yes, but the results would not have been so good. So make sure to get the right help and try to find someone who is happy to give it to you.
After you have identified what you need, who can help, and how you will get it done it’s time to put the plan into action and reap the rewards. Eventually you will become such a pro at asking for help that you will find yourself feeling so awesome and energized that you will literally NEED to help others!! When people come together in support of each other for mutually beneficial reasons, their combined efforts will produce amazing results and generate a state of interdependence. Interdependence is the fabric that the quilt of teamwork and cooperation is made from and contributing to its’ creation is like being wrapped in amplified love and support. Doesn’t that sound nice? There are billions of people in the world who all NEED to give and receive varying levels of help. They don’t need this because they’re needy, they need it because they’re human, and being connected and useful to one another is how we survive. Success and personal fulfillment is just the cherry on top once you learn the importance of knowing how to ask for help when you need it.