Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I was afraid to ask for help?

This topic brings back many memories of my working days.  Yes, I was one of those that was afraid to ask for help or let anyone know that perhaps I could not do what was asked.  And, because I was afraid to admit that I was physically challenged. others did not feel comfortable asking if I needed help.

Dr. John M. Grohol, PSYD, comments:  “I think the number one reason why people don’t ask for help is simply fear. Fear that others will judge them for seeking help, fear that others will see them as weak or damaged. This fear is the same kind of fear that holds many people back in their lives.

But fear, like any emotion, can be overcome. It takes effort and work, but if you conquer this fear, you can seek out help and improve your life or situation.”
help note

Back then, I was not giving in to this disease.  For the life of me I did not want anyone to know that I was incapable or uncomfortable with doing something.  And, boy, did I pay the price.  Falls, injuries, broken bones, torn suits and dress pants, and sitting on the sidelines while others had fun were just some of the results of not being able to swallow my pride.

Author Audrey Kinsella discusses her situation in a story she wrote.  “While being independent is good, resisting asking for or accepting help isn’t always productive.   Life really can be made more comfortable by accepting help from others.”
Inspired by her personal battle with rapidly progressive multiple sclerosis, Kinsella admits that as an independent individual who was once the person offering help, accepting assistance was quite a difficult and humbling experience.  “I gritted my teeth,” she says. “For years, I never asked for help.”
“Learning to give and take is a two-way street,” says Kinsella. “But learning to navigate that street can really add to the quality of life. Learn it and move on.”
Can I relate to her last comment.  I have written about it before in several articles, but it still amazes me how much personal grief I put myself through during those years.  I remember my wife asking me dozens of time “WHY DID I JUST NOT ASK FOR HELP?” 

Help - strong ones

There is an article in eHow titled “How to Ask for Help.” 
    1. Know to ask for help before frustration and anger take over. This is the first and most important step. 
    2. Leave behind feelings of shame and embarrassment. Just because you're asking for help doesn't mean you're a failure. It's actually wise and a very successful strategy because it will save stress and time.
    3. Talk to someone who you're close to--like a friend or family member--if you're feeling a bit intimidated asking for help. Maybe they can point you in the right direction.
    4. State clearly what it is that would be helpful and be specific. People generally want to help they just need to know exactly what is expected of them.
    5. Say thank you. Always be grateful and appreciative when someone has done something to help.

    Rules #1 and 2 above should have been sitting on my desk back then.  And, yes, it is easier to ask a friend or relative for help than to ask someone at work.  Explaining clearly what specifically you need help with also makes the process much easier.  “I can do this, but I just can’t seem to do that …” lets the other person know you just need a little help in certain areas.  And, most importantly, always say THANK YOU. 

    Inner-strength comes from self-confidence and self -awareness.  It is knowing your limitations.  It is also recognizing the strengths and capabilities of others.  As the poster says above, “The strong ones ask for help.” 

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