Why don’t we ask for help?
After last week’s blog post, there were some comments, and some communications to me as to why we don’t ask for help, and after some further stimulating thought, I think we should talk about some of the reasons why we don’t ask for help. The following are what I believe to be our top reasons as to why we don’t ask for help!
1. We don’t want to look stupid to anyone we may reach out to. How many times have you sat in a meeting or a classroom and had a question on your mind, but felt like you couldn’t ask the question for fear of looking stupid to those in the room? Beginning at an early age in my career and while going through vet school, I found myself in this position routinely. But it wasn’t until my self-studies and several authors telling me, “Ask the question, cause most likely everyone else in the room has no clue either. And if they do, and you don’t, who cares, ask anyway!” So I began to take that stance, in rooms for various meetings and such, and often found once I did, others would pipe up after the answer to my question, “I was wondering the same thing.” Our fear of looking stupid keeps us stupid! Ask your question to anyone anytime anyplace! Good people will quell your fear, and those you don’t need in your life will confirm your fear of asking…
2. We have asked but didn’t get the help we wanted. There are times in life when you needed a friend, a family member, your leaders, a mentor, a coach, or a colleague to be there, but they just won’t “show up” for whatever situation it is. There was a point in my life when I had a very dear friend that was there for me most any time, but when I needed him the most, in one of the darkest times in my life, he wasn’t there. There are times when they may not be physically present. Then there are also times when they may be physically present, but not “filling your cup”. The hard part is coming to the realization that the person you are needing help from or asking for help from either just flat doesn’t have the ability to give you the help for various reasons or they are unwilling to give you the help. It’s ok to be persistent and keep asking, but don’t get to the point of not being able to move forward because you are still waiting for them. The hardest part is moving forward and accepting that they are not able to help or unwilling to come help. There are other competent and willing people out there with open hearts and minds to help! Find a pastor, or a reliable leader in your field, a proven business person, a counselor, someone you can trust that is competent, and willing to help.
3. We don’t want to hear the answer or we don’t want to change. I think many times, our mind tells us we need help with something is it very tangible help for that day, or be it very intangible life-changing, but our body doesn’t want to take the action necessary to make the change necessary or required. Needing help that requires real change, requires real hard work sometimes. Asking a question we don’t want to hear the answer to means we will likely not take the action required to make the change. I preach to mentors and to “change agents”, some of my hardest lessons in life have been trying to change people not wanting to be changed. One can coach, counsel, preach, teach, pray for, and lead by action to people we would like to see more out of or a better life, but until they want to make the change for themselves, no real change will occur. That was me basically until I was about 32 years of age. My wife and a newborn set of twins changed that! For good! Forever!
4. The last and most important reason we don’t ask for help… OUR PRIDE! Many of us were raised to be a prideful people, proud of who we are, proud of our family, proud of where we come from, and so on. This is a great thing overall and necessary, but in that comes one downfall in thinking we don’t need help. We think we can “go it alone” or “I can do it”. There are even situations in which we make a mistake, and we are too prideful to ask for help to clean it up or ask for help to learn from the mistake, thinking, “I can take care of it myself.”
All of these thoughts are rooted in the same characteristic of our pride or ego getting in the way of our progress. My good friend Dr. Doug Ford taught me about “ego” and it’s evils here about a year or so ago, and when we get to the point of “letting go” of our ego, better things will happen to you. There are some things you can “go it alone”, but you will find that reaching out for help and not having to “go it alone”, and doing something together is better. Together, we are all better. Momentum is created by addition, not by the constant same mass size. Momentum compounds, momentum grows by addition. What is your momentum?
Life can be very lonely. Life can be self-destructive. Life can get isolated. But no one asked you to “go it alone”. We all need help in different areas of our life. This blog is about you. This blog is about me. In what part of our life do we need to ask for help right now? Ask! Now!