Asking for help can be an incredibly tough hurdle. Whether you're interested in getting a raise, want to get more details on that upcoming work project or simply need a pair of extra hands on moving day, a fear of rejection can hold us back. Is there a way to get better at asking for help? Is it even necessary? Yes and yes. Reasoning out your fear of asking for help and understanding where it comes from will help you move past it. Good thing, because asking questions is an essential part of living your best life. Communication starts with asking. And communication is key to all of your relationships, at home, at work, and at play. Take a look below at some knowledge and suggestions that will give you an edge on spitting out your need-to-know questions.
It's All in Your Mind
If you've ever picked up a basic self-help book, you'll probably read that most of our problems and issues reside in our head. It's all about how we view it. Objectively, right and wrong is what we perceive it to be. If this is the first time you're wrapping your head around the concept, chew on it for a while. Remind yourself of it every day. Whatever you're afraid of, whatever reaction you're trying to avoid, you've created. And you'll never know what will really happen until you try.
Cyndi Sarnoff-Ross, a licensed psychotherapist, points out on DailyStrength.org that this mind trick we play often comes from a lack of self esteem in a certain situation. These insecurities can stem from past incidents in our life that made us feel as if asking for help was wrong in some way. Understand that one past incident will not dictate the future, and try to find out if there are underlying issues with your asking resistance. Knowing is half the battle!
Separate Fact from Myth
We humans have created some common myths surrounding asking for help. Such as, it will make us look weak or vulnerable. Or that we're keeping ourselves safe and secure by not admitting we don't have all the answers. Practicing psychoanalyst and author, Dr. Deborah Serani, writes down these myths and the truth behind them on her blog. She says that, in fact, asking creates empowerment and conveys courage rather than weakness or unattractive vulnerability. She then goes on to explain that the feeling of security is false, too. Not reaching out and asking your questions keeps you isolated and unknown. You can imagine how that might work against you at the office, or with someone you're dating.
Have an Action Plan
Dr. Serani (or Deb, as she calls herself) also gives a literally helpful acronym to keep handy that serves as a short how-to: H.E.L.P. Have realistic expectations for the answers and help you seek. Express yourself simply and clearly (no passive aggression!). Let others know you'd like to help out too. Praise those who help you, and don't forget to pat yourself on the back for overcoming a fear that each of us experiences at one point or another. Additionally, you can create your own plan of action by practicing your question in the mirror or with friends first. Writing it out can give perspective and allow you to see your fears are unfounded.
Be Patient — With Yourself
Give yourself permission to allow asking insecurities to be an investment plan in your lifestyle future. That is to say, if you're like many of us who've avoided key questions as a habit, change won't come overnight. Take it one question at a time, it will get easier. Most people enjoy helping others, it's a great feeling! So, in asking for someone's help, advice or knowledge, you're creating good vibes all around.
Keep it Balanced
Often when we're scared to ask, we put ourselves in an adverse position to give (the isolation problem). The more you give, the more confident you'll be in "taking." Just remember that it's about balance. If you give and never take, you can feel resentful. If you take more than you give, you might burn your loved ones or bosses out. You deserve all the help and information you desire from others, and the universe deserves to get it back!
Happy asking, helping and receiving!