“Ask for help not because you’re weak, but because you want to remain strong. On a good day, it’s easy to feel the strength and collaboration that can come with asking for help.” ~ Leslie Brown, motivational speaker
Recently I was reminded how hard it is to ask for help. Which is exactly why it is so important to ask for it when you need it. Additionally I was also reminded how important it is to model the behavior too.
My experience came from my daughter but it could have just as easily come from a co-worker, a client or a direct report. When we are viewed in a leadership role, letting those we lead know we routinely ask for help is equally as important.
This lets them know it is OK and acceptable to ask when you need assistance. As I thought about how hard it was for my daughter to ask for help, I realized she likely didn’t have any idea how often I ask for help.
As an entrepreneur, I’ve had to ask for help many times.
This podcast is a result of asking for help. It wouldn’t exist if my husband didn’t do the editing and final production. And you hear his voice with the intro and closing of each episode. But it also started because I took a course on how to start a podcast. Taking a course is a form of help, and the action of finding it and paying for it – while slightly different than asking, the result is the same.
Without the course and my husband’s ongoing assistance – I likely wouldn’t have made it past episode 2 and I certainly wouldn’t be consistently releasing new episodes.
Other ways I’ve asked for help in my business include hiring a couple of different coaches, finding supporting networking groups, and developing collaborative relationships with a variety of different experts. I’ve called on each of these people at different times to help me figure out challenges over the last 9 years. One important thing I’ve figured out is my expertise exists to help other people but when it comes to using it to support my own business – that is another story. Marketing and branding my own business is tough. And it is also important to understand what I can do and what I cannot do on my own.
Asking for help is just that… help.
Assistance. Support. Collaboration. When you ask for help, you don’t know what else might come from it.
In doing some research about why it is so hard for us to ask for help, I came across an interview with M. Nora Bouchard, an executive and leadership coach, as well as author of “Mayday! Asking for Help in Times of Need.”
She explains that there is a psychological reason why it’s tough to ask for help: We are hardwired to want to do things on our own and be independent. Asking for help often makes people feel uneasy because it requires surrendering control to someone else.
Fear of asking for help isn’t just fear of not being capable, it’s also fear of being a burden, fear of imposing, and fear of being too needy.
Remember, asking for help is not just about you.
You still need to contribute and make yourself available when others need help from you. I found this quote in a Forbes article – Our lives are richer, not poorer when we share our gifts with others. So whether you need someone to lend you a hand, or just need someone to listen, consider: by having the courage to ask for help you’re not putting them out, you’re pulling them up.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Austin Marketing Messaging Course/worksheets
- Austin Marketing Writing Prompts
- Asking for help is a sign of strength
- Why asking for help is so hard and how to get better at it
- Asking for help is not a sign of weakness
- Asking for help is a sign of strength, not a weakness
- Asking for help reveals strength, not weakness
- LeeAnn Eddins, L.A.Eddins Design
- Sophy Dale, copywriting coach and strategist
- The Pursuit of Purpose archive