Can you ask for help?
Do you ever have problems asking for help? For most women this is an issue whether it's at work, at home, in the business, in the community; maybe one of those arenas is more difficult for you than others. I certainly have a problem – my mother brought me up to believe 'the only person you can depend on is yourself' which was meant to helpful but causes me problems to this day! But, with the launch of the "Turning Points" book recently, it brought home to me the power of working as a group and harnessing the support of those around you; without that, we wouldn't have reached number one.
I am sure you have examples from your own lives when you've asked for help and received it, so we have the proof that it works. Then why do some of us find it so difficult? Do we think that if we accept help we will be beholden to that person? That they will want something in return? Do we have a martyr syndrome that kicks in at certain times, especially home situations? Do we think that we will struggle on, saying nothing so that eventually someone will notice us and offer to help? I really believe it's much more difficult for women because we've been brought up to have to battle for many of things we have and to admit we need help is an admission of weakness; although things have changed over the years, women still have to prove themselves more than men in the business arena and in the board room.
In our businesses and in our careers we need help; some of it we may pay for but a lot of it is free. We might not have the capital to invest in starting or developing a business so we could go and ask the bank for a loan –this is a form of help but one that most women entrepreneurs do not even consider in the early stages of their business (most men wouldn't hesitate to borrow for this purpose!). We might need help to find another job but feel diffident about approaching past colleagues and acquaintances for possible contacts and advice –why is this?? It frustrates me as a coach to see talented, intelligent women putting the blocks on their success because they do not want to ask for help, or don't even consider doing so. So let's make the commitment TODAY to seek support and assistance wherever and whenever we need it.
REMEMBER : most people want to help and would be delighted to do so if they were asked. So go ahead and ask them and give them the opportunity to help you – it's a gift for them!
Where can you get help?
There are loads of places where help can be available; here are just some of them. What can you add to the list?
1 Do a bit of a personal audit first to discover where you get blocked by asking yourself :
- In what areas do I find it easy to ask for help?
- In what areas do I find it difficult? Why?
- If I don't ask for help, what are the consequences for me as I move forward?
- What's one thing that I could use some help with right now?
- How will I get it?
2 Make a list of potential sources of help. Think broadly – you could start with the list above if that helps but expand it and put actual names against the category.
3 Be clear about what you need and when you ask for it, don't beat about the bush.
4 Ask expecting to receive. Get in the right mind set and intend to find the help you need. This may come from an unexpected source so be open to that.