Why is it so hard for some of us to ask for help? Why do we feel the need to do it all by ourselves? It often seems that we don’t want others to think that we can’t handle things on our own. We are afraid that it is a sign of weakness. In fact, the opposite is true. Asking for help is one of the bravest things that we can do.
My experience with chronic illness led me to do what I hated most… admit that I could not do everything on my own. When my physical limitations prevented me from accomplishing something, it was inevitable that I would give in to my gut feeling that told me I needed some assistance. These limitations are what finally forced me to reach out and ask others for help.
Will the other people think anything less of you because you needed some help? Not likely. Will you be labeled as a weak person? Even less likely. So why do some of us wait so long to ask for help? We should not have to wait until we are ill, overwhelmed, stressed, etc. before we reach out. When we are young or new to something, most of us are taught that it is ok to ask for help.
- If you don’t understand something, ask the teacher. - If you can’t reach something on a high shelf, ask someone to get it for you. - If you’re new to a school and don’t know where your classroom is, ask someone to show you. - If you’re new to a job and don’t know company procedures, ask your co-workers what to do. Why is it ok to ask for help in all these situations, but many of us feel that it is not ok to ask for help with our personal issues?
When we are faced with problems in our lives that seem to be overwhelming, whether they be physical, mental, or emotional, we need to be brave and admit that we cannot do it all by ourselves. Asking for help from friends, family, doctors, therapists, coaches, and others for support is not weak. In fact, it is extremely healthy.
If it seems unnatural for you to reach out and ask for help, it doesn’t mean that you’re doing something wrong. It simply means that you haven’t practiced this skill enough. Give yourself permission to practice it. I promise, no one is keeping track. Not only will you feel less overwhelmed and be able to accomplish more, but you will also likely make deeper connections with those around you. Most people inherently like to be helpful because it adds to their sense of purpose, and it makes them feel good.
And so, I am asking for your help. The next time that you need support in any way, would you please be an example for others? Show them that it’s ok to be brave and ask for help. “We don’t have to do it all alone. We were never meant to.” – Brene Brown