Do you think that it is hard to ask for help? Well, I sure as hell think so. It’s so engrained in me that it took having an all-out breakthrough moment to realize that, for me, it is hard to ask for help. This was such a ground shifting epiphany that I’m going to share the story with you so that we can all no longer have the belief that it is hard to ask for help.
Yesterday, I was on a call with two wonderful guys. The three of us are looking out for one another as we work on taking our businesses to new heights. It was my turn to talk about what’s holding me back from taking the next leap.
I explained to my trusted colleagues that I have a hard time picking up the phone and making calls to people at certain times. The guys were stunned. One absolutely couldn’t believe it because he knows me to be articulate, capable of holding a great conversation, and to be confident.
It’s not that Al was wrong at all; he was right. But what came to the surface for me is that calling the people I needed to contact meant that would be asking for their help. Not getting their cooperation was something I would not want to experience. I’d rather avoid making the calls to avoid the rejection.
This is crazy!
In that very moment, I blurted out to my buddies that it is hard to ask for help!
This was a realization that came from such a deep part of me, that the moment I uttered those words, my eyes rolled to the back of my head and a flood of icky memories came back to me. When I was bullied in grade school, no one helped me, even when I asked for help. The school bus driver refused to step in, even though I asked for help. When I was college, and first diagnosed with having dyslexia, I asked for tutorial assistance and got none. Most pivotal times in my life, when I needed help most, there was none to be found. My mindset became fixed that it is hard to ask for help because I won’t get any.
Last night, my partner and I were heading out to get some ice cream, and I was relaying to him the conversation and what happened as a result of it. I told him that while we were talking, Al and Jacob told me I should prepare something and go back to the awesome coach the three of us are working with this year and have him review my work. What I realized upon reflection was that the thought never crossed my mind to ask our illustrious coach for help.
And I’m paying him a lot of money to work with me over the next year!
Well, you know what? That mindset doesn’t work for me, and it doesn’t work for you either.
I know that being totally self-sufficient has made me strong, toughened me up, and transformed my life from those brutally challenging times. But what also was a new realization is that being so strong and tough has its drawbacks, too, like maintaining the mindset that it is hard to ask for help.
You’d be hard-pressed to look at the very successful people I’m so proud to call my clients and friends and think that any of them have ever had a hard time asking for help. But we’d be wrong.
But they were able to take a leap of faith that they’d get the help they needed.
For every client I work with, there are 100 more who don’t feel like they can take that leap because it is hard to ask for help. But as Jacob pointed out on our call yesterday, if someone asked for help, I’d be there in a heartbeat. He’s totally right.
It doesn’t seem like it should be so difficult to make those phone calls. You probably think you’d be able to make them with no problem. It may seem like asking for help with your personal style is ludicrous. After all, you should be able to dress yourself with ease. But sometimes those phone calls and dressing ourselves isn’t as easy as it seems.
So we have to ask for help. I’m going to ask for help. You should ask for help. If you take the leap of asking for my help, I’ll be there to catch you and to help you.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs transform their self-confidence by improving their personal style. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know which “7 Ways Your Image Is Leading to Low Performance” at josephrosenfeld.com.