As kids we were always dependant on our parents for one thing or another. As we get older we yearn for the day when we will be totally independent, able to do our own thing, make our own decisions.
Then one day that magical moment arrives, we are finally free!
The sad thing about gaining independence is that somewhere along the way we seem to learn that asking for help is no longer okay. We learn instead that somehow asking for help is equated with being weak or incompetent. How many times have you not heard a teacher say “There is no such thing as a stupid question?” someone asks a question and the class bursts out laughing at the “stupid question”.
We rather pretend that everything is okay, we struggle along, and making decisions that keep us stuck in situations or set us completely on the wrong track. We do this to ourselves all because we are too afraid or embarrassed to put our hand up and say “I’ve made a mistake I need help” or “I don’t know what to do, can you help me?” Effectively we end up living in fear.
Fear of failure or “looking stupid” is probably what limits most of us from stepping out and trying something new. We look up to those around us who seem to have it all together.
Remember that they also started somewhere. Nobody is born knowing everything. It’s probably what makes mentoring so powerful. Mentors are people who have gained knowledge, experience and skills in a certain field and are willing to share this with those willing to learn.
There are more people out there than we realise. All that they are waiting for is someone to ask them for help. Yes, of course there will be that handful that “won’t have the time”, ignore them.
So here is a challenge for you.
Start by acknowledging that you cannot honestly and effectively solve all of your challenges on your own. Whether they are personal or work related it does not really matter. What matters is how feeling stuck and unable to solve this riddle called life impacts on you. If you are feeling overwhelmed it is a sign you could do with some help.
The next step then is to find someone you can trust, not someone who has a vested interest in the outcome of the challenge, someone who can be completely objective and help you regain perspective. This person could be another mom who has three kids in contrast to your one, or it could be someone who also started a one-man service business and are now successful. Sometimes using the services of a professional Life Coach or Mentor could be the right option for you. Find someone appropriate who can effectively help you deal with your specific challenge.
Now the next step is the biggest step. Ask that person if they would be able to assist you. If they say yes, make the appointment and meet with them. Coffee dates can be very effective. Be mindful of the person’s time, so come to the meeting prepared. And yes, you pay for the coffee!
If for some reason they do say no, please do not take it as a reflection of you. They too have their own stuff to deal with. Re-assess and find someone else.
Once you’ve taken the step to ask for help once, it does become easier.
Asking for help is in my opinion a sign of maturity, it shows that you are aware that you have limitations and that is okay, even healthy.
Most of the challenges that life will through your way you will always be able to handle. For that odd occasion when it feels as if the wheels have come off, remember that there is someone who can help you, it really is okay to ask for help.