You have so much on your plate. You're not quite sure when (or how) you'll get everything done.
There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. You're drowning in tasks. You're looking forward to the time when life slows down (when was the last time life actually felt slow?).
So many of us find ourselves inundated by an overwhelming, never-ending list of things that need to get done. And we somehow think we can do it all on our own.
So why don't we ask for help? Maybe if we had an easy button for asking it would be easier. We need a "Help button".
Most people don't ask for help because it feels hard. But that doesn't mean that people don't want help. Just think about the number of self-help books on bookstore shelves, many of which end up on the best seller list.
In my experience, there are 5 common reasons that stop you from asking for help:
1. Shame keeps you from asking. Shame pulls a cloak of darkness over your life. It keeps you isolated and feeling alone, ensuring that you will not get support or ask for help. The way to release shame is by shining the light on it. Confiding in someone and speaking your truth out loud removes the power that shame holds over you.
2. You don't know what to ask for. When you're feeling overwhelmed by life circumstances you may not know what you need help with. Here is where clarity can help. Pause long enough to write down all that you are holding. Determine which tasks and situations you are certain you can take care of and identify the ones where receiving help may bring them to resolution faster.
3. You feel you should be able to do it all by yourself. The operative word here is should. It is inherently filled with judgment. We are usually our own worst critic. When you judge yourself harshly the chance of asking for help plummet. Get another opinion and reassess your expectations of what you can accomplish in a defined time period. You may find that what you expect of yourself is just a tiny bit unrealistic (can anybody relate?).
4. You don't want to bother people. This was a big one for me. As I think back, it is pretty hypocritical since I was generally the one rushing to help and assist others. Women especially are hard-wired as caregivers and nurturers. When you dare to ask, you will likely find there are a long line of people only too willing to offer help. Allowing others to help you gives them an opportunity to practice generosity.
5. You secretly fear letting go of the struggle. The idea of addiction to struggle was introduced to me this weekend by my coach, Christine Kane. It is common to be uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. What would it be like if you asked for help and suddenly your life didn't feel so hard all the time? With this one, I recommend taking baby steps. Start by asking for help with a small task and work your way up to larger more complex situations.
Until we get a that Help button, working to uncover the truth underneath our reasons for not getting help can bring about some relief and maybe a lighter load. At the very least, you may discover that you're not as alone as you thought you were.
Leave a comment below and let me know which of the above reasons you most identify with, or add your own to the list.
Uplifting Women in Medicine