Asking for help has been an area of focus for me over the years. Asking for help from my partner, friends, my team, mentors, a stranger… from the universe – whether for something small or something large, it has always felt a bit unfamiliar and uncomfortable for me.
When I became aware of how infrequently I ask for help, I wanted to understand why I don’t often think to ask.
Perhaps I’ve been hardwired to do things on my own, independently? Am I not that comfortable surrendering my control to someone else, giving up the control?
Am I ashamed because “I should know” things or feel that asking for help makes me appear incompetent?
Yeah, it’s a bit of a mix of those things … And I also think I just forget to ask.
My friend Georgia Murch reminds me often, “Don’t forget to ask”. It’s a personal meme between us that’s been running for a couple of years. She reminds me that whatever the domain – relationships, work, money, business – step 1 is to get clear on what you want, and step 2 is to ask the universe to help you out a little.
Now, whether you believe (like Georgia and I do) that the universe will help you out or not, there are always people who will help you if you think the universe is not listening. I’ve realised that, even though asking for help can be an issue for me, it’s the first step that is most important: getting clear on what I want help with.
I remember many years ago a beautiful friend and mentor of mine, Lisa O’Neill, set me a task to answer several questions to help me plan my business for the year ahead. The first question was “What do you want?”
I couldn’t answer it. For days, weeks, I stared at this simple question. It was the perfect question to ask me. You see, when you’re clear about what you want, you give others (and the universe) clarity, so they can better support you in your endeavours, goals and desires. In fact, when I opened my eyes to this concept of getting clear and asking for help, I realised that help is everywhere.
If you are open-minded, tuned in to the present moment and tapped into the people and knowledge around you, the help you’re looking for sometimes just magically appears.
I’m writing this blog as I approach my 44th birthday, and there’s this awareness washing over me: the more I learn and grow as a human being, the more I see how little I know. So, rather than focusing my energy on what I know, it’s much more interesting and easier to focus on what I want.
“Get clear on what you want, then find the people to support you to get it.”
What do you need to get clear on, so that you can find the people to support you to get it?
Start small with little things in your life that you are clear on, and ask for help. Practice and build some trust in the process, then build up to more significant things in your life that you wish to get clear on, such as career, money or relationships.