Asking for help…is something I need help with!

Offering help and asking for help are 2 very different skills!

Lately I have been noticing my own comfort with each one and how different they are.

When it comes to offering help, I am ready! I have gotten much better at checking in with myself before I make an offer out loud. Making sure that I genuinely mean the offer I make is important. So, I check in before speaking to ensure I am willing to keep my offer if it is accepted.

Asking for help is something that I think I am good at, yet, when I actually have to ask for help I find myself trying to find other options. It makes me feel icky. I think it is most often a combination of feeling like a failure and fear of rejection.

While I can logically know we all need help sometimes, it does not make it easier to ask. Turns out I’m not alone in this being hard.

About a week ago I was talking with a good friend of mine who lives on the other side of the country. She just learned she was going to need surgery that would keep her off her feet for a couple of weeks.

As we were talking I kept thinking to myself, ‘she is going to need help’. So, I asked, “Do you have people around who can help you?”. Her answer was, “I will figure it out.”

She said it with such confidence, I wanted to believe her. Yet, I know what it is like to live by yourself, need help, and not know who you can ask for help because it feels like a big imposition. Figuring it out felt like piecing together a puzzle with pieces that don’t really fit. Juggling like that after surgery can add additional stress.

Immediately I wished I lived closer, I wanted to offer help. Then I realized, much of my work is virtual. I could go and work from her home and help while she recovered, especially in the first few days after surgery.

Boldly, I said, “Know that you have options. I can come out if you want for a week or so. Think about it and let me know.”

The conversation moved on. As we were hanging up, I reminded her that I meant it and if she wanted I could come out. It felt a little over the top to offer again, yet, I know that it can be hard to ask for help so wanted to make sure she knew I meant it.

Yesterday we were talking and I learned her surgery was now scheduled. She then said, “If you wanted to come out that would be cool.” I almost laughed out loud at this causal possibility. Knowing how hard it was for me to ask for help, I guessed that this was her actually saying, ‘please come! I could really use your help!’

Of course I would!

So it was set, I am going out the day before her surgery and will be there for about a week to support her. Even as I write this, I can feel the emotions welling up. What my friend doesn’t know is how meaningful it is to be asked to help. To be trusted in vulnerable moments.

Her asking me for help is a reminder of the strength of our friendship. I feel honored and loved because I know there are very few people who she would ask for this support.

There are several golden nuggets in this story:

1. When you ask someone for help, you may be giving them a gift of allowing them to help you. I certainly feel that way.

2. Offer help more often! It can be hard to ask for help, knowing the other person is willing to help makes it a little bit easier to ask.

3. Practice asking for help with small things, so that when you need to ask in a big moment, it will feel a bit easier.

4. We all need help sometimes – life is not possible alone, so don’t think you need to do it all yourself.

5. Asking for help is a skill! Practice it for yourself, teach it to your kids, and encourage those among you work with.

I would love to know, what is the last thing you asked for help with? Just hit reply to this email and let me know!

We are almost at the end, I just have 2 more things to share with you today!

First is an update! Last week I mentioned doing a training on the power of words. I decided to do a 1 hour training on February 26th! I hope you can make it. I’m getting all the details together and will have a registration link for you next week. Words are magic and I am so excited to dive into ways you can use them more intentionally. So get ready because it is going to be AMAZING!!!

Second is that I talked with my friend about sharing this story. She gave the ok for me to share our conversation. In the world of social media and public declarations, I hold close the privacy of others. When you hear stories from me that include others, know that I have asked for permission first.

This is the email I sent out to my mailing list. If you want to make sure to get every story and golden nugget, you can sign up here! Would love to have you as part of my community!

If you enjoyed this story, you may want to check out this YouTube video about the power of our words! That and lots of other insights on my YouTube Channel – DrMarcieBeigel