When I was in high school, I was part of this group that taught me so many incredible things. The focus was on community involvement and leadership development in youth. I met so many wonderful people, some of whom I’m still very close with, and learned incredible skills while I was in this program.
Every year we would organize conferences and schedule different guest speakers, and this one year in particular we had a guy come in specifically to talk about leadership.
Rather than stand up in the front of the room and talk to us, he set up an interactive activity.
Everyone was blindfolded and led into a room with a bunch of furniture placed around it, and a rope leading around the room. We were all led in, and our hands were placed on the rope. We were told that eventually the rope led us out of the maze, and that we just needed to follow the rope to get to the exit. We were also told that there were people in there who could help us out if we wanted.
So I started on my trek – to find the exit! I climbed over things, went around and around, but I was pretty proud of myself because I didn’t give up. I was very persistent.
Eventually the room got quiet, and I still couldn’t find the exit. I could tell that everyone else had, and I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t figure it out. So I kept going.
I came to a point where I could not figure it out. So I raised my hand to ask for help. Someone came over to help me and removed my blindfold. And what I saw filled me with embarrassment.
Everyone was staring at me. No blindfolds on. The rope went around and around and around the room. There was no exit.
The whole point of the exercise was to teach people to ask for help when they couldn’t figure something out.
But I was too stubborn.
I’m still this way, to be honest. Often too stubborn to ask for help. But this lesson has stuck with me for 23 years.
When To Ask For Help
There are a few scenarios when you should consider asking for help.
When you feel you’ve run out of options – if you’ve tried EVERYTHING you can think of to move forward, and you don’t know what else to do, I guarantee there is someone who knows exactly what the next best step is for you.
When you need someone else’s perspective – you might still have options, but sometimes getting a fresh set of eyes on a challenge can be exactly what you need.
When you feel stuck – Maybe you still do have options, but you just don’t know which one to try next or where to go. That feeling of “stuckness” that we feel is very common, and asking for help is the BEST way to get yourself out of that feeling.
When you’ve been trying on your own, but nothing is changing – this is possibly the biggest reason you should be asking for help. If you’re trying to change your sleep or your energy, but nothing that you try is making a change, you definitely need some help to get to the root of the issue and shift your progress.
How To Ask For Help
It’s important to ask for help when you need it. And let me tell you – this is a skill that many of us (myself included) need to develop.
It’s something that comes naturally to some, but something that others need to work on.
But the reality is that you don’t know how to do everything.
If this is something you feel like you need to get better at, here are some ideas on where to start to ask for help:
- Start by surrounding yourself with people you trust. If you’re not used to asking people for help, you need to have a lot of trust in someone before you’ll be comfortable doing so.
- Make sure the person you ask for help aligns with your values. This doesn’t mean the person knows the same things you do. It might actually mean that they might challenge you on some of your beliefs. But make sure their fundamental values align with yours.
- One of the things I struggle with in asking for help is I hate putting other people out. I really hate thinking that I’m intruding on someone’s time or day or energy to do something they don’t want to do. BUT, the reality is that most people want to help others. I guarantee that someone wants to share their gift with you. And it often makes people just as happy to help you as it does for you to help others.
A friend of mine shared this thought with me the other day, and I thought it was perfect:
“Someone else can’t give you their gift if you don’t ask for help.”
Why Should I Ask For Help?
Asking for help can actually have pretty incredible paybacks.
- Asking for help builds community. This is how relationships develop, and community develops, and community is what makes us thrive as human beings.
- Asking someone to help you can give you perspective. It is always beneficial to look at things from someone else’s point of view and asking for help can absolutely do that.
- When you are able to be exposed to the different perspectives of different people, this helps us to develop empathy. It improves our skills of being able to relate to people, which improves our interpersonal skills (and leadership skills).
If you’re one of those people who love helping others, but sometimes people take advantage of that, then boundaries might be where you need to exercise your voice.
Being able to say “no” to people who ask you for help when you genuinely can’t help them is as much a superpower as asking for help.
So if this is something you need to practice, I encourage you to do it!
And if you’re struggling with terrible sleep and low energy, that is something I can help you with. Comment below, or head on over here to book a Sleep Assessment Call where I can dive into your sleep challenges with you to help get you moving in the right direction.