I Need Help.
I need help
Three little words that are so hard for many of us to say.
Three little words that have so much meaning.
Three little words that can create huge change in someone’s life.
So why are we so hesitant to ask for help? Why do we struggle so long on our own, often reaching breaking point before getting some support?
Why is it often so uncomfortable to ask for help? Do we fear being too need? Being shunned or rejected? Is it that we don’t know what exactly we need help with? Or for some is it surrendering control? I have felt parts of all of this.
For me, I’ve considered this a lot lately, ask asking for help and asking for what I need is something I struggle with. My default is often to forge on alone, whether its in work, relationships or personal goals… over time I guess I have just learnt to just rely on myself and if I am honest that has prevented me from being open to receiving support from others…
But someone once said to me in regards to motherhood…. “Hermione there is no one coming to give you a gold medal for doing it alone”. And that started to shift some things for me. There is no medal or reward for going it alone as a business owner, or a worker, as a mum, as a human being… In fact the opposite might be true in that when we do try do get it done on our own, we end up struggling and falling behind.
I have a true belief somewhere deep down that we’re not meant to do this thing called life alone. That we are mean to lean on the community around us of our friends and family to support us in raising a family, keeping motivation and moral alive, to help us move house, interestingly most people help we are wired to want to say yes, to help and support them.
I also believe we are meant to utilise the genius and skills of other people, businesses and services to help support us…. Childcare, Cleaners, Gardeners, Food Services and Tradespeople to take the load off at home if those are financially viable options for you. Personal Trainers, Nutritionists, Doctors, Naturopaths, Physio, to keep us motivated and on track for our health and fitness goals. Coaches to support our ongoing transformation in business, relationships and life. Just to name a few that I use myself!
So if you’re like me and find yourself sometimes sitting in a space of stress and overwhelm and not even sure where to start asking for help… Here are a few things you could try….
1. Make a List
Create a list of what you need help with, or if you’re not 100% sure, create a list of everything in your life or business that is stressing you out or overwhelming you. The first step is to get clear on what it is that would make a difference for you and it will be much easier to request specific help for these specific things. This could be things around the house, goals you’re struggling to achieve, things piling up in your business or work.
2. Create possible solutions
From here see what solutions you can see on your own, as often things start to become clearer when you’re written them down but also consider share your list or worries with a loved one, close friend or coach who can help you break things down and create possible solutions. Sometimes it may be simply doing some planning and prioritising but here is when you can have a birds eye view of where you could ask for help..
3. Consider who can help
My business coach recently said when getting stuff done to consider... Not HOW, but WHO... Think about those who have offered to help in the past, and you didn’t take them up on the offer. In my experience, people who offer help actually do mean it. You may be able to identify who of those people could help you with some of the list items, or consider businesses or services you could utilise, what can you outsource? Getting clear will help you take action. Sometimes the action could even be just to talk to X person about Y as they may have some advice for you. See my next point:
4. Speak Up
Practice talking openly with your friends and family about what you’re going through and what you need help with. Don’t be a hero (there is no gold medal remember). Take the guess work out for those around you who want to help and be clear with what you need help with and what that would mean for you, and create space for them to be able to. If they cannot help directly often our network will often have great suggestions on what to try or who to recommend that has helped them.
This list is by no means exhaustive, it will not be the solution forever (hint, you could repeat this process each month or whenever it all gets too much) and it takes practice.
There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a baby but I think it takes a village to live your life, run a business and keep your sanity. So perhaps if we can all practice asking for help, or even just admitting to yourself that you need help… we’ll be able to start to take steps away from a stressed and overwhelmed space into a calm, and supported space.
In writing this, I commit to be better at asking for help. And in writing this, I am also reminding anyone in my life or reading this that I am here to help and support you. Don’t be a stranger, or a hero. You’re not alone.