As difficult as it is to ask for help, most of us loved to be asked. We often get confused and think that we are handing someone a burden when we ask them for help, but really when we ask for help, we are giving them a gift.
I love to read and books often inspire me, especially non-fiction. The book, Nothing Changes Until You Do, by Mike Robbins, is one of those books. The chapter “Ask For Help” was one that I really needed to read, repeatedly and loudly.
I find asking for help to be extremely difficult, and I know that many of you do, as well. We have this belief that no one wants to help us. That we need to be independent and do as much as we can for ourselves. And, while that last bit might be true, the first part is so far from the truth.
Mike opens that chapter with a question:
“How many of you like helping other people?”
He says that no matter where he is speaking, when he asks that question almost everyone will raise their hand. Yet, when he asks his second question:
“How many of you love asking other people for help?”
only about 10 percent of the people raise their hands.
Did that hit home for you yet? We ALL love helping other people, but almost none of us like asking someone else for help. He points out that there are sometimes good reasons we may not want to ask for help, but often it’s the fear that if we ask for help someone will say no, or that they won’t do it right that holds us back. The fear that they will disappoint us.
But, how about this. How about if we looked at asking for help as giving a gift. Almost everyone enjoys being asked for help, and we all know that when someone asks us for help it makes us feel good, it makes us feel important, it makes us feel useful; asking for help is like giving a gift. It is telling someone you trust them enough to provide for you in this small (or large) way.
Are there those who will take advantage of your gift and expect something of you in return? Well, yes. So, that just means that you may want to be a little careful about who you ask and for what. Mike gives some great advice on his blog about how to approach asking for help in way that provides more freedom and confidence in the outcome. It’s definitely worth a read.Asking For Help is Like Giving a Gift - Choose Wisely. Inspired by @mikedrobbins Click To Tweet
I recall when I asked for Disability Accommodations while taking college classes. I was hesitant at first and really worried about how my instructors would respond to the requests (most of which were simple). However, I was shocked at the results. Not only were my instructors happy to comply with my requests, they each suggested other things that they might be able to do to help me, or at least asked if there were other ways they could help me. Seeing this, I realize that I gave them each a gift. I asked for their help and what I found out was that I gave them a gift. By asking for help I made my life easier and I created a bond with those who helped me. Those bonds allowed for a much better experience.
This is something I try to remember as I progress through life. Instead of resisting the urge to ask for help, I try to reach out and remember that most of the time others are more than happy to help when they can. And, when they can’t they are often as disappointed as I am, if not more. Very rarely would someone decline a request for help when they have the ability to help – and honestly, I don’t want that kind of person in my life.
How do you feel about asking for help? What tips do you have to make it a little easier? Are there certain people you know you can ask for anything?