Being able to ask for help when needed and feeling supported is one of the best strategies for un-tapping your true potential and achieving your optimum performance. The idea of reaching out and getting support features in almost all top tip lists we often see shared for areas such as productivity, confidence, effectiveness and resilience. However, rather than asking for help, people too often choose to sit in silence, work alone, battle with their thoughts and take the long way around to achieve the results they seek. Sadly, because asking for help for many of us is regarded as a negative and a weakness.
We live in an age where we pride ourselves on connecting with people. We are focused on building our LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers and Facebook friends as a sign of our strength in networking and likeability. Yet, we fail to use the connections when we really need them.
Why? Because somewhere along the line we established a picture and a belief that asking for help is a sign of weakness and an emotional state that puts us in a poor position, vulnerable and incapable.
I personally battled for a long time with the idea of reaching out and using those words ‘Can I have some help’. I’m a very independent person and the idea that I would need to reach out to others as I managed career and children would mean swallowing pride and going against a strong personal value. I admit, I was also over worried and over thought about what others would think of me burdening them with my needs and felt shame at not being able to come up with all the answers and do everything myself.
But it’s not just pride, independence, shame and the idea of burdening others which can stop us asking for help. As an executive coach, I work with many people who are scared about what people will think about them and fear judgement if they ask for help and support. Others, particularly leaders, fear it’s a poor reflection on their status and don’t want to admit to themselves, let alone to others, that they don’t know and have everything they need to get a job done. They fall into the trap of needing to be perfect all the time. For others resisting the need to ask for help is the result of a desire to prove themselves because they are caught in another self-sabotaging trap, the trap of comparison.
When you take time to challenge your beliefs around asking for help you’ll see why it features in all the top tip lists. Rather than a weakness, asking for help opens you up to so much more opportunity and growth that it can only lead you to stronger performance and greater achievements. Reaching out more and seeing offers of help as acts of kindness and not as pity, will enable you to up your game at work and at home. Reframing asking for help as a strength and not a weakness step-changed my performance and I see it daily with my clients too because when you reach out and ask for a helping hand…..
You learn and grow from the interaction with others
You achieve much more and quicker
You discover fresh perspectives
You feel stronger and more confident
You can help support someone else’s need to live their values of kindness and care
You demonstrate proactivity
You will be calmer and less anxious
You will be happier and enjoy things more
You succeed much more often than you suffer setbacks
You replace overwhelm and busy with productivity and effectiveness
Asking for support reflects on your performance ability and effectiveness in a positive manner. Look at every successful person and you’ll see a group of supporters and help around them. They’ll tell you they never got there by going it alone or without reaching out and asking for advice when needed.
So, make the most of your connections, step change your performance and gain support to lead yourself to success by asking for a helping hand at least once every day.
Want to ask me for support to help create transformations to career or skills so you can achieve more success? Book a free discovery call to chat