The Power of Asking
What does the power of asking for help mean?
Let me first share with you a story. When I was around 6 or 7 years old my life started to change dramatically. It was at this age that I learnt my first lesson in the cruelty of life. I had just been branded the “fat” girl at school with the name ‘Fat Nat’ but I was also diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer. Both of these situations impacted very differently but actually resulted in the same thing. This hit my self-esteem and started my journey of living my life in shame – I was a bad person.
The name calling incident told me that I was not perfect, that I had was not what society expected of me and a few years later resulted in an eating disorder. The cancer incident I thought was just a story I grew up telling but now in my memory. In fact, this simply confirmed that I was not perfect and I had done something bad because my Mum was so upset. Of course my Mum was upset – I can understand that as an adult but as a child or I remember is seeing her face and how much I had upset her. This only reiterated that I was bad.
Living through both incidences developed a form of perfectionism and the ability – or lack of ability to ask for help.
Perfectionism – the road to failure
Perfectionism is not always about doing something perfectly, which as many of you know is impossible. And in fact, what one person deems as perfect another does not. Perfectionism is the relentless attempt to achieve an extremely high standard each and every time, always for the individual and often for those around them. This is how a perfectionist judges their self-worth by the ability to achieve at this standard each and every time, regardless as to whether is was even achievable in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, setting goals and striving to achieve them to better yourself is what many successful people do in life. However, when many of the goals are unattainable or only achievable at a severe cost, then this is where perfectionism comes in to play. There is a difference a healthy pursuit of excellence and the unhealthy strive for perfectionism.
My life turned to a constant battle for striving the impossible and taking anyone down who stood in my way. I started to set unrealistic goals for myself (and others around me without even realising it) and I would constantly judge myself for not achieving them. Even when I did achieve a goal – like getting into a size 10 pair of demin jeans, it just as not good enough. I should really be in an 8 – “So work harder girl”.
Did I ever ask for help? No, that was a major sign of weakness and I was not weak. My fixed mindset told me that I should have been good enough without having to ask for help to get to where I wanted to go. So I never asked for help and as a result suffered many year of internal hatred and disappointment.
The Power of Asking for Help
This is the most powerful way to change your life – asking for help. It is actually quite simple. Where your focus goes, the energy flows. If you begin to focus on asking for help when you need it, this is where all your energy goes and this is what you begin to achieve. Many people do not seek help until their marriage is over or their depression has become so bad they can no longer function on a day to day basis or their business is about to close due to over demanding debt. Why is it many people struggle to ask for help? Is it because as children we are taught to ‘have a go yourself’ before you ask for help or is it because of fear of failing?
When you can take back the power of asking for help, you take back control of the experiences you will have in life. The truly successful people in life do not get to where they are by doing it alone. They ASK FOR HELP. If you do not ask for help, you may never get to the outcome you want and achieve your dream. I believe that is the difference between people who actually achieve what they want in life and people who only dream about it.
I as one of those dreamers. I always set myself high standards and wondered why I didn’t often achieve them. I use to look at other people and think “why are they so lucky. I work just as hard but don’t ever seem to get the same results’. I wish I knew then what I know now about the power of asking for help and the willingness to fail.
Failing is a big one with perfectionists as it is not something that a perfectionist does very well. If you fail, it means you were never good enough in the first place. Most perfectionist do not learn any lessons attached to failing and often do not grow. Those who ask for help are willing to accept that failing is a part of life and this is where all the major lessons are learned. If you cannot FAIL you cannot move forward and achieve greatness.
Understanding that everything around you was created by people, some who have failed numerous times to get to where they are and others who have used natural ability. However, often these people are just life everyone else, no smarter and no more deserving except they ask for help when they need it and embrace failure.
If you are struggling with asking for help, in any area of your life, here are a few ways you can work on yourself to begin to take back your power of asking for help.
- Understand exactly what you need and what you want to ask for. This may sound a little weird but often people are not even sure what they need (or want) so they never ask. Put a few things things in writing and it often becomes clearer.
- Start by helping others and watch the response you receive. Feel the emotion in yourself when you help someone else and watch the other person. Asking and receiving help makes both people feel like they have achieve something and been a valued part of society.
- Ask with intelligence. By this I mean if you are not sure you will be able to get the words out or not sure where to start, write down different ways you can ask for help. Some need to ask for help face to face. Others may prefer over the phone or even by test. Work out the best way for you.
- Invest in you. Understand you are worth the investment and many people you surround yourself with believe the same thing.
Today I am thankful that I learned to ask for help, I have learned that I am worthy to receive help and that my purpose in life to help others. Pretty ironic huh!
Do you have the power to ask for help?
Linking up with Kylie for #IBOT