Asking for Help is a Sign of Strength, Not Weakness!
Do you need to ask for more help, more often?
Last week I received an email from a woman I know professionally, asking if I would do her a favor. Her son moved from Australia to New York a year ago to pursue his ambition of working in media, but has had a hard time getting his foot in the door anywhere. She wondered if I might be able to make any introductions to people in my network there.
I told her I’d be delighted to help and have since sent his CV to a few contacts working in that space. Hopefully one of them will open a door of opportunity her son has been looking for.
The reason I share this little story is because so many people are very reticent about asking for help and because I think most of us should ask for more help more often. As with so many things that would serve us (and others), our fear is what gets in the way. Fear of over-stepping a friendship. Fear of appearing too needy. Fear of imposing. Fear of revealing our struggle and people realizing we don’t have it all together after all. But here’s the thing:
As I wrote in my soon to be released book Brave, when you don’t ask for help when you need it, you deprive those who’d love to give it of the opportunity to do so. Everyone is worse off.
When you ask someone for help, you aren’t putting them out, you’re pulling them up. Our lives are richer when we share our gifts with others, not poorer.
The truth is that we all have gifts to share – time, talent, connections, insights, experience, skills, resources, hospitality. And most people I know love to share them! I know that I was genuinely delighted to do a favor for this woman and was actually flattered that she felt comfortable enough to reach out to me and ask for it.
In my recent interview with Janine Garner, author of From Me To We, we talked about how important it is to risk the possibility of seeming needy, or even of being rejected, and to reach out to ask for help when we need it. Not only can it help us when times are tough and we’re struggling, but it also gives others the opportunity to make a difference while helping them feel more comfortable to ask for help themselves.
Everyone is better off.
So whether its asking someone to make an introduction for you, or it’s asking someone to lend a helping hand, consider how by having the courage to ask for help you aren’t putting them out, but pulling them up.
Other videos from my “Conversations on Courage” series with Janine Garner: