There is a common thread for me and many of my clients. It is the awkwardness around asking for help. Whether you’re tackling a challenging project, navigating a personal struggle, or simply asking for guidance, knowing how to ask for help effectively can make all the difference.

Help Please!
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is actually a sign of courage and self-awareness. Coming out of my health journey last fall, I realized in order to regain my health, I couldn’t do it on my own. With Archie still working, it was necessary to be honest with myself, be willing to be vulnerable, and say, “Yes, I need help!”

I attribute much of my success and recovery due to those willing to help me in areas I couldn’t help myself. In fact, seeking support was a powerful catalyst for my growth, both personally and professionally.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something and to learn something new.” – Barack Obama

Here are some tips I have learned to help you navigate the art of asking for help with confidence. I will also list a few pitfalls that might keep you from asking for what you need. This is the inner critic trying to convince you to go it alone. Please pay attention to what is listed below and commit to working on this skill.

Be Specific: When you are seeking assistance, be clear and add details about what you need help with. Vague requests can lead to confusion and frustration. I know in my own mind I can be miles down the road when I ask for help. Taking a breath and articulating my need or challenge as precisely as possible without a lot of “story” or drama is key to getting support.

Timing is everything: Timing is crucial when asking for help. Consider the availability and demands of the person you are approaching. This will increase the receptivity of their involvement and they will appreciate your mindfulness and consideration of where they are on their journey.

Express Gratitude: Acknowledge the value of this individual’s help that you are seeking by showing your gratitude. A specific yet simple “thank you” can go a long way in fostering positive relationships and encouraging others to lend a helping hand. A handwritten thank you card goes the extra mile in expressing how grateful you are.

Get Curious and Utilize Available Resources: Don’t hesitate to leverage available resources, such as online forums, support groups, or professional networks. Finding these platforms can connect you with people who have the expertise and experience to help address your specific needs. In my case, Caring Bridge kept me in touch with my community with the details of my situation and the needs that arose during my recovery. These resources are priceless.

Here is a short list of fears that might hold you back from asking for what you need

Fear of Vulnerability: At our core, we may fear that asking for help exposes our vulnerabilities. We are concerned that the perception is that we are incapable, inadequate, or not making an effort. Remember that vulnerability can foster connection and authenticity. This also requires you to trust those you reveal a need to, and you trust your gut in the process. Trust is a big key to vulnerability.

Fear of Rejection: There may be a hesitation to reach out for help. Fearing that your request will be met with indifference or judgment. Keep in mind that our true allies will most likely embrace your vulnerability and offer their support without hesitation.

Fear of Being Needy: We cherish feeling independent and self-reliant. Yet, we may fear that asking for help will diminish our sense of autonomy, implying we are “needy” or we will become a burden to others. Yet, seeking support does not make us weak. Offering and receiving support is a gift that blesses both the giver and receiver. This can strengthen intimacy and our bonds with others.

Fear of Disappointment: We may worry that by asking for help, we’re setting ourselves up for potential failure or letdown. That our hope may be crushed. Yet, it’s crucial to recognize that the act of seeking support is a courageous step towards success, not an indication of defeat.

You've Got This!
This is a snapshot of how to go forward with courage. To have the boldness to ask for what you need. You are not alone, AND your needs matter. You are worthy of the support you seek. We were never designed to do life alone. We need each other, welcome to humanity. This process will allow you to emerge stronger, wiser, empowered and more connected than ever before!

Enjoy all of the beauty and fragrance of Spring; the warmth, the new growth and possibilities all around us.