I hate to ask for help. I’d rather walk home in the rain than ask someone for a ride. If I don’t have an ingredient I need for a recipe, I’ll improvise rather than show up on a neighbor’s doorstep, empty measuring cup in hand. And, if I’m really honest, I’ll go to near-acrobatic lengths not to need help managing my kids with special needs. It’s just too much work.
Maybe you can relate.
Why don’t we ask for help? Here are a few common reasons:
- It makes us look vulnerable.
- Successful people don’t need help.
- We’re stronger if we can keep our needs under wraps.*
None of which are valid. Especially if you’re pursuing a dream or growing in any area. Those changes need a team – people with different strengths and insights to help you grab hold of God’s best.
Ways to ask for (and get) the help you need:
- Determine what you truly need. Make a list, a mind map, or voice recording with all you need in a given situation. What would help you most? How might others fill in gaps and assist you in that way? Getting your thoughts clear makes it easier to clearly state a need and ask for help from someone who can give it.
- Ask the right people. I can be clear as day when I ask my husband to organize a drawer in my house and it would look like a bomb hit it when he’s done. But the man is a genius at helping me think of ideas as a parent or writer. What do you need help with? Who do you know that has that skill set? What strengths do people in your life have that might assist you in what you need?
- Don’t qualify or apologize for needing help. We all need help at times. We have HALT moments (when we’re hungry, angry, lonely or tired), financial challenges, life set-backs. Once you have your list of things you need and the people who could truly help, ask in a way that helps them help you. Keep it short, simple, and without apologizing for being human and needing others.
- Make teamwork part of the routine. The asking can be the most challenging for us. If we ask, figure out what works, and make it the norm, we won’t find ourselves in that overwhelmed place as often. Set up regular shared responsibilities: set up a carpool for school drop-off and pick-up. Arrange to take turns with a friend to shop for the bulk items at Costco and split the costs. Establish a certain time of day every day for each person in the family to do their chores.
Whatever you do, get the help you need today. Offer it when you’re able. Open those connections to let others know it’s okay to help each other as you all pursue God’s best for your lives.
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9
Which step above could help you meet the needs you have today?
*Dr. Deborah Serani, “How To Ask For Help”