Asking for Help is a Strength
A Guest Post on Asking For Help by Rory Kelly Connor
Somewhere along the way, we have collectively picked up the belief that each one of us should be able to do it all, know it all, have it all, and be it all. Whether at work or at home, we have accepted the premise that we should be indomitable multi-tasking forces of productivity. We should be perfect in our career growth, our work, our dress and our fitness quotient, while also being formidable in our children, our homes, our relationships, our recreational and social schedules, and our love lives. At least, that’s how many of us want it to appear.
The truth is often something very different. Many people are struggling. In a challenging economy, people are being asked by employers to do more work and toil longer hours with no added pay or incentives. People are losing jobs, homes, marriages, relationships, and security. Many more are struggling daily to stay positive while working at jobs they loathe deeply, yet feel trapped doing to make ends meet. It is all around us, everywhere, in every country in our world.
Bottom line, people need help. Now more than ever. Yet, more often than not, people choose to keep a good “game face” on about their family situation, their businesses, their jobs, their relationship statuses, and their financial situations, among others, rather than ask for help.
Ask and You Shall Receive
Every day, in my work with clients and in the world, I see confirmation that we have equated needing help with weakness. We think needing help means we are not strong. We avoid the vulnerability of admitting we can’t do it alone like the plague. We work hard to hide any bleeding until the wound is so infected we may need to amputate. And sometimes it gets that bad. I’ve seen this happen, and it isn’t pretty.
Instead, we work harder, forge on, let stress build up, smile and pretend everything is “fine.” We buck up and give ourselves a daily pep talk, telling ourselves to “grin and bear it.” We turn to something outside ourselves to “medicate” the increasing panic and pain. Of course, most of the time this makes whatever it is worse. And we pray. We pray harder and harder for relief, for an answer, for it all to work out perfectly, for a miracle. We pray for any relief just so people won’t know that we failed, that we, in fact, couldn’t do it all, that we needed help.
I know you know what I mean. Been there, huh?
Allowing Yourself to “Receive”
So let me ask you, how many times have you heard the phrase, “Ask and you shall receive” in your lifetime? Almost cliché, it is derived from a passage in the Bible that reads “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). In just these five little words lies a wealth of wisdom. And it requires strength to see that and act on it.
Many people think this directive – ask and you will receive - only pertains to prayer, to help requested from heaven. When we pray for help, it is as if we imagine an answer will drop out of the sky into our laps, and we will be able to fix our problems without any other hand or intercession. In a way that no one will know the truth of our situation, that some or all aspects of our lives are failing or in a mess, needing assistance.
Yet, the directive is also meant to apply to the people and resources available in our lives. We are being directed to actively ask others for help when we need it. We are being shown that we are not meant to be an island, separate and alone, single-handedly managing our challenges, our crises, our devastating circumstances. Human beings are meant to work together to create solutions and solve problems. Because we are all in this together.
In asking for the help of other people – for instance, family, friends, coaches, mentors, community members, and even strangers - you open the doors in your life to receive. And you make very clear what help you need. After all, people can’t know you need help if you don’t tell them what’s going on in your life.
Asking for help, allowing people to see your weak underbelly, the sore spots, takes great strength. Some may reject you and refuse to help. I am here to tell you that many more will surprise you with their kindness and generosity, whether of talent, time or resources. Why? Because people relish the amazing opportunity – the gift - of being able to help another person. It feels good. It is good.
So, the next time you are feeling stuck, facing a crisis, being overwhelmed, finding yourself trying to hide a bad situation, stop and ask people for help. And do so before it gets worse. In humility, there is strength. In vulnerability, miracles happen. In asking, we make room for receiving. And amazing things are then possible.
And, by the way, who do you think the Universe sends to answer your cry to heaven for help anyway? People.
Based in New York and New Jersey, and serving clients worldwide, Rory Kelly Connor is a Peak Potential Coach, Certified Life & Career Coach, and Global Business/Branding & PR Strategy Expert. For more information, please visit www.canyouimaginelifecoaching.com.
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