“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
― John Holmes
The older I get, it seems the more difficult it is asking for help. I remember seeing it in my husband. No matter big the task, how time intensive it might have been, to ask for help was akin to cutting off Hercules’ hair as if he would lose his power.
But what is the problem with women or with men asking for help? Why is isolation so comfortable that we rarely ask for help at all? Is what we do any less exhausting? Does it make us feel incompetent to ask for help?
It’s called conditioning.
Our parents and their families grew up at a time when there was a much greater focus on the family. One adult stayed in the home. There was a sense of responsibility for all family members and much less digital, academic and other social distractions. The expectations were the family relied on the inside to help.
Today the scope and challenge of demands of everyone have changed dramatically. What hasn’t caught up is the way we ask for help.
No one has to be a martyr and do anything alone if we don’t want to. We get to practice asking for what we need from others and in doing so, we find we achieve our goals in half-the-time by doing it together. In an article published by GoodTherapy.Org https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/why-is-it-so-hard-to-ask-for-help-0616164, they say “The biggest reason many seem to have for staying stuck rather than reaching out is fear.”
Allowing others to help us, is our gift to them. If they’re unable to assist, then we consider other options. When we deny those who want to help, we become controlling and deprive others of their usefulness. It’s called playing God, making decisions about what is too much for someone else to do, what is too demanding or time-consuming. There are many more excuses we’ve heard over the years.
When we don’t ask for help, we allow that same old conditioning rule us without even looking at our motives. Maybe the culprit is nothing more than guilt that we don’t want others to know how difficult it is to do it all by ourselves.
What are Six Questions We Ask Ourselves before asking for help from others?
- Why do we think we have to do everything ourselves, even when we would rather not?
- Are the reasons we tell ourselves in Number 1 above, the truth or misplaced beliefs we heard somewhere along the line?
- Do we deserve to be punished?
- How is doing it ourselves allowing others to be productive, responsible and a contributing member of the family unit, our tribe or society?
- What is the message we want children, colleagues, and others to take from our decisions?
- Does our doing everything alone give us the same self-nurture, feel-good we might receive by letting others in?
We may be able to have more time for ourselves in this fast-paced world, and the things we love doing when we allow others to feel good about themselves for having been useful to someone else.