The struggle to ask for help

August 25, 2019 Sandra Dawes

I often talk about the need for everyone, women in particular, to be more willing to ask for help. I have to admit I’m a better talker than doer when it comes to this advice. Asking for help, admitting that I can’t do it all on my own, is not something I would consider one of my strengths.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that there are always going to be people who are willing to help. The catch lies in the fact that it’s up to us to ask. As convenient as it would to have those willing to help get a mental signal when they’re needed, it doesn’t work that way yet 😉

I’m not sure where my struggle to ask for help started. Maybe it’s because my parents were big on teaching me how to do things so I could do things for myself. My dad was a handy man, a truck mechanic who could fix practically anything. I rarely saw my parents hire help. They were all about figuring it out for themselves whenever possible.

I know that my upbringing has something to do with my lack of comfort in asking for help. I also know that my challenge in asking for help comes from my exhaustion. Let me explain. As someone who has struggled to say no to others, I know how tiring it can be to always be helping others. My desire to not want to burden others, leaves me as a burden to myself. Talk about a vicious cycle!

So what to do we do? Do we not ask for help because we don’t want to be an inconvenience and remain overwhelmed and exhausted? It doesn’t seem like the most productive way forward does it? That’s because it isn’t. The answer is to ask the right people for help. It may mean being willing to pay for the help you need. I know from personal experience that it’s not just about getting help, it’s about getting help from the people equipped to give you the assistance you need.

Sometimes the struggle isn’t as much asking for help, but asking for the right help. We often don’t even know what kind of assistance we need, so how can we possibly ask for it? When we feel like we’re in over our head and we’re not sure what the next move is, it’s important to take a moment and really think about what you need to go forward. If you need help figuring that out, ask someone you trust for guidance. I’ve learned that I can’t help everyone, but I can often point them in the direction of someone who can.

That’s the beauty of building a strong community. Everyone has their strengths, and we can come together whenever necessary to help each other out when needed. We don’t have to struggle on our own. We all have challenges that we’ve faced, are facing or will face. When we feel like we are supported, we’re more likely to share our wants, needs and desires. It’s not for anyone else to make them a reality, but they just might point you in the right direction or to the right person to get you that one step closer to achieving your goals.

march, 2021

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