Self-confidence and competence are well and good. But you alone should not be responsible for managing your physical, emotional, and mental health. Instead, it’s best to err on the side of the “power in numbers.”
Unfortunately, there’s a certain stigma associated with asking for help. And there’s no question that finding words to ask for what you really want or need can leave you feeling uncomfortable, vulnerable, or even incompetent. But it’s within this vulnerability that we can truly grow as individuals. Asking for help does not have to be a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of self-awareness and intellect. Here are a handful of positive, life-changing repercussions that can come from merely asking for help.
1. Asking for Help Unlocks a Support System
A solid support system is probably the most important piece of equipment both in and outside the gym. Whether your support comes from friends, family, or medical professionals, identify these people and tap into them. They will be invaluable to you when your inner critic rears its ugly head. Let this support system motivate you, encourage you, and challenge when you aren’t able to do these things for yourself. I can almost guarantee these individuals will pull through for you and not view your request as burdensome. Express appreciation for their help and offer your support in return.
2. Asking for Help Presents New Perspectives
While completing my life coach certification, I was told by an instructor to never ask a client a question in which I already knew the answer. “Come from a place of curiosity,” she said. It’s by attacking problems with a curious mind and playful spirit that we come up with the most creative of solutions. While we all have great ideas, we don’t all think the same way. Asking for help is a great way to solve your problems because it allows you to look at situations through a different lens.
3. Asking for Help Builds Critical Life Skills
By asking someone for help, you are acknowledging that you may not understand something, and are therefore placing the responsibility of learning on yourself. The physical act of asking it out loud (hopefully!) means you are now accountable and committed to finding an answer. It’s important to have a clear idea of what and who to ask. This may take some time to get right, but start by identifying your goal, the steps you may need to take to achieve this goal, and who may be able to help you reach this goal. These actions build perseverance and resourcefulness.
4. Asking for Help Increases Confidence
Contrary to popular belief, asking for help does not mean you’re stupid. Instead it signals a higher level of self-awareness, because you’ve recognized that something is beyond your ability alone. Not asking for help at this point would be stupid. View the act of asking for help as an empowering one—one that gives you energy rather than takes from it. Think of those who are willing to ask a question when they don’t understand something. Aren’t they actually brave? Focus your intent and interpretation on that, rather than seeing incompetence.
5. Asking for Help Shows You’re a Team Player
At times many of us think our way is the right way and it’s the only way a task should be done. But operating with this perspective can get really lonely and may in fact signal to others that you’re not a collaborator. By asking for help every once and awhile, you’re exercising flexibility and demonstrating your ability to play as a team. You might surprise yourself at the outcome that many minds can come up with.