All You Have To Do Is ASK.
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
“It's in the act of having to do things that you don't want to that you learn something about moving past the self. Past the ego.” - Bell Hooks
Keeping a smile plastered on through virtual niceties and Zoom meetings can feel just as exhausting, if not more, than keeping up a facade of having it all together in Pre-Covid times. In this new era, we feel even more pressure to show that we’re okay, even when we’re not. Instead of asking for help, we expend energy and effort being the support system for friends, family, and co-workers, believing that others can rely on us without asking for reciprocity.
That mindset may work — until you hit a wall.
If you don’t flex the muscle of asking for what you need, you might not feel like you deserve to even make the ask by the time you realize you have a serious need. Read on to learn three key tips on asking others for support, in whatever form you need it.
Ask (verb): to call on for an answer, to make a request of someone.
To break out of the vicious cycle of being too in your head about requesting help, all you have to do is ASK.
A: Assume you are not the only one.
You don't have to go at it alone. In a world of billions of people or even an office of five colleagues, recognize that you may not be the only person with your issue or challenge. There is always someone who has been there and done that. It may not be exactly what you are experiencing, but you will never know if you don’t take a chance and initiate the conversation.
During my greatest challenges, I’ve found that my faith and belief in the power of finding at least one person who will just listen to me, enabled me to move through my embarrassment or the fear of being judged for my situation. Strengthening the ability to put fear aside in the midst of overwhelm, allows those with wisdom or special understanding to support you and helps you move forward in your own journey.
S: Speak your truth to unlock serendipity.
One person cannot have all the answers. It’s important to remind yourself that there are doors that can be opened and options that exist, even if you can’t currently envision them. Asking for help can feel like the hardest work, but can be a stepping stone to the greatest peace. The conversation you have may not be as perfect as you desire it to be, but taking the first step of speaking about what is truly in your heart or what is causing you pain and suffering is your personal act of power. While it may take some time for the help or support that you need to materialize, making that request can be one of the most important steps you take to facilitate the outcome you desire.
K: Know your communication style.
Are you a person who needs to think through every response scenario before you have a conversation? Are you more comfortable getting input or validation from a larger group or do you prefer a one-on-one call? Having a sense of how you prefer to communicate can be helpful in preparing for your conversation. Be sure to consider your audience and planned conversation length as well. There’s a reason TED Talks are 18 minutes long: the average individual attention span is estimated to be between 5 to 20 minutes, according to Good Therapy. If you have the time, preparing one or two main talk points ahead of time can help you to focus on what’s important for the limited time you may have to speak with someone.
Need help planning for a challenging conversation? Check out our free on-demand course, How to Prepare for a Challenging Conversation.
I remember when I was a young girl seeking guidance and wisdom from my aunt. We’d talk for hours about problems that at the time felt like the end of the world. After one particular conversation, I distinctly remember pausing to ask her thoughts. Her response? “Baby, this too shall pass.” Truer words have never been spoken. I wish you strength and the power to ASK for help as you navigate your resilience journey!