Many of us never ask for help. Whether at the office or at home, we simply refuse to ask for assistance because it makes us feel uncomfortable. Does that sound familiar to you? Sure you had lots of experience asking for help while you were growing up, but once you reached adulthood, you were trained that you are supposed to be self-sufficient and independent. So when you are feeling stuck or have a problem to solve or need to get something done, you try to do it alone. And much of the time, you probably figure out the solution on your own or are able to muddle through. Being self-sufficient and independent are excellent capabilities—up to a point. But you know what, you will probably come to a quicker solution, get more ideas, be shown a different perspective, and simply be more successful if you ask for help at least occasionally if not often.
Discomfort Holds Us Back
Why aren’t you asking for help? What feelings are preventing you from getting the assistance you need? If you are like many people, you probably feel vulnerable asking for help. When you ask for help, you feel that you are exposing your inadequacies. You feel that you are revealing that you aren’t perfect and capable of solving the issue on your own. You feel that if you ask for help, it shows that you are weak or needy. So instead of feeling vulnerable, you go it alone. Instead of feeling those feelings, you avoid asking for assistance.
Successful Leaders Ask For Advice And Guidance
However, your feelings are getting in the way of greater success. Your mindset is causing you to avoid a behavior that can make a huge positive difference in your life. Don’t let those pesky negative thoughts prevent you from moving forward. Ask for help. Remember that the best and brightest in the world actively choose to ask for advice and guidance from others when they are making decisions or are trying to figure out solutions or make changes in their life. Because when you ask for help, you get input from people who are different from you and therefore not stuck in your own mindset. Leaders in corporations, world leaders, successful people in general, all have a team of advisors—even if they don’t call it that. They have gathered experts across many different domains to help them make changes and decisions and take actions because they know that no one person has the skill or time to do everything.
Create Your Own Team
In your workplace, you probably have teams working on projects. Having a team is an excellent way of bringing people together to work on a common problem to get to a better solution. Teams are ways to get help from others that lessens the sense that you can’t figure the solution on your own. So here is a tip for your personal life. When faced with a personal problem, think of asking for help as if you are gathering your own team of varied experts to help solve your issue. Ask for help from someone who has been through the same experience as you are going through, ask someone who has never faced the issue before, ask someone who has a strong intuition, ask someone who relies on data to decide, ask someone who is indeed an expert in the area. The idea is to get input from different minds from your own, so that you aren’t encumbered by your, perhaps, one way of doing things.
Get Help And Free Up Your Energy And Time
Of course, only you can make the final decision, if a decision is needed. Gather the input and ideas and then make your decision knowing that you are just as capable and independent even if you asked for help to get you to this decision point. Many times the ideas from others frees up your own energy so that you have a sudden “Aha” moment. Sometimes, no decisions are needed; just action needs to be taken. When you are at a standstill because you need to take some action but have no idea how to do it, find someone who knows what to do and ask them to do it for you. That’s called delegation and it is amazing how much you can accomplish when you simply ask for help from someone who will get a task done for you. It not only frees up your energy, it frees up your time too.
Asking For Help Means You Are Strong
I experienced the feeling of vulnerability this past week when I asked for help in a fairly public forum. I was given the opportunity to get some advice from my business mentor Fabienne Fredrickson, but it was at a business group meeting in front of about 30 people. And you know what, I did feel exposed and uncomfortable. But I also got excellent advice that I could chew on for a while and draw my own conclusions about what to do next. And because I was in a supportive environment, I also got feedback from others that they were grateful that I shared my vulnerability. Others at the meeting felt my discomfort and yet they saw that I got what I needed and wouldn’t have if I kept it to myself. They expressed that they were appreciative to see someone else publicly ask for help because it made them realize that if they asked for help more often, they would make greater progress in their own business and life. They saw me as strong—not weak—because I asked for help. You too can ask for help even though it makes you feel vulnerable knowing that you are bound for greater success with assistance from others.