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Asking for Help

by Rob Cross on January 15th, 2011

This week I had a couple of interesting experiences with people who finally realised that they couldn’t do it all themselves – so they asked for help!

As quite an independent person, I’ve always been reluctant to ask people for help, even when I really needed it. This wasn’t because of some foolish notion that I was brilliant and could do it all myself. Instead it was due to being quite shy and not wanting to add to the burden of other people. What I’ve come to realise as I’ve got older is this approach is flawed for three key reasons:

1. You can never do everything by yourself.

2. People are mostly always keen to help.

3. You miss out on some great opportunities by not involving others.

Of these reasons, the two that amazed me the most when I realised was 2 & 3. I was surprised at how willing people are to help out. I have always been the type of guy who would go out of my way to help others, but I thought I was the only one who did this. However, as I started asking people for help on things I quickly began to realise that people are more than willing to help others. Secondly, as I started asking people for help I began getting other opportunities to do things that I had previously missed – it was amazing – by asking people for help I was getting new project opportunities, job offers, and I was really expanding what I was learning.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help – the worst they can say is no!

This week I had two different people come to me for help. Both were at breaking point with their issues and were allowing themselves to be buried in self doubt. My first words when speaking with them were; “Why didn’t you come to me sooner?” To which they responded; “I was too embarrassed to ask for help!”

My advice for any one who’s struggling with a problem or issue they can’t resolve, no matter how big or small, is don’t be afraid to ask for help. Trying to solve everything by yourself isn’t a good approach. Humans are social creatures that learn most effectively from interacting with others. So it’s in our DNA to engage others to solve problems. And the worst thing anyone can ever say to you is no – which isn’t really that bad at all.

My final piece of advice in asking for help, is make sure you go to those who will really be able to help you. Often this is people who will have a completely different perspective than you. Once again, the worst thing they will say is no, and to be honest, in my experience very few people ever say no!

A last word on Asking for Help

When you first ask for help and someone say’s yes, it’s a hugely liberating experience for you as you get to cast of your shackles of suffering and get the support you need. As you get this support however make sure you use it  - implementing the solutions you create is where change comes from!

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