“I am having a hard time asking for help at my new job.”
After a couple of hours of being stuck, I sent that message to my friend, Caroline.
I shared how hard it was for me to be in a place surrounded by talented people. How I felt like I was not worthy of being there. I needed help but I didn’t want to show I needed help.
After all, if I were good enough, I should have known how to solve the problem! Won’t they find out I don’t know everything if I ask for help?
She brilliantly shared a strategy that was better than keep judging myself.
Start the request by sharing the feeling that is preventing me from showing my vulnerability. Then ask what I need. Here’s an example:
“I feel like I should know this already, but can someone remind me of what X is for?”
I love this so much. It validates my feelings and makes it easier to reach out to someone.
I wrote this down on a post-it and placed it on my monitor. I’ve used it a couple times since she shared this with me.
More Stories About Asking for Help
Someone shared with me they don’t like asking for help because they value independence. Therefore, relying on someone else is a sign of weakness.
Another friend shared they don’t like asking for help because they feel dumb for not knowing things.
Me? I feel like I should know everything already.
Perhaps asking for help is something we all have trouble with. Some more than others, certainly.
But is that doing us more harm than good?
Deep inside, we all seek Connection
Connection and interdependence are how our brains are wired. We are biologically wired to depend on each other:
In “How we Show up - Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community”, Mia Birdsong, shared this brilliant quote from Amoretta Morris:
“It is okay to ask for help. In fact, by doing so, you are taking part in the divine circle of giving and receiving. While we often focus on what the request means for the asker/recipient, we should remember that giving can be transformative for the helper… By not asking for help when you need it, you are blocking that flow”.
Asking for Help initiates Connection
Now, whenever I need help, I see it as an opportunity to connect with other people. And being grateful for not being alone in this world.
I realized I want to be around people who aren’t afraid of asking for help – and helping others. Of showing that they are figuring things out, just like I am.
Perhaps… by getting to the end of this post, you decide to join me.
Let me know when you do.
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