Can You Ask for Help?

In these times of emotional intelligence, we should all be able to ask for help really easily shouldn’t we? But I don’t think we are doing it and there might be a number of reasons for that.

  • You might be ticking along quite nicely thank you and don’t feel that you need any help with anything. Very cool ?
  • You might feel like your difficulties aren’t as bad as someone else’s, possibly someone who’s in your immediate network and so you don’t say anything. Your internal dialogue might be something along the lines of “well look at what *****’s dealing with right now, how the heck can I complain?”
  • You feel there’s really no point in asking for help because no one is listening.

Let’s take each point in turn. If you’re quite happy with how things are ticking along, that’s great, I’m certainly not suggesting that you should ask for help when you don’t need it. But, (there was always gonna be a ‘but’ wasn’t there?!), sometimes when you’re ticking along quite nicely it’s a good time to think more deeply about where things are heading, whether that’s about family life, health, holidays, money, work or personal development stuff. A deliberate lift of your head and mind towards a more distant horizon has a value, if only to make you smile and look forward to great things ?

Complacent, Comfy and Coasting
It can be easy to become complacent with things and very settled in our ways so it might be worth asking someone you love and care about, “if you were me, what would you be looking to work on in the next 12 months?”. Loved ones are great at holding us to account. If we’re coasting along and not achieving what they think we’re capable of they will usually tell us, hopefully with kindness and compassion. Loved ones have a great perspective on us too. They want us to be the best that we can be, although that can sometimes shut down a bit if they fear there will be a significant impact on them. Try to find your most objective loved one and ask the question, ‘if you were me….’. Or put yourself in the role of being your own coach and ask yourself the question ‘are you capable of more?’ and see where that goes!

Stop Making Excuses
If you feel that your difficulties, whatever they might be are not worthy of air time because someone you know has some really difficult stuff going on right now, then I would beg to differ. Because I’m sure that person would be really mad, frustrated or upset with you if they thought that you had not acted to make things better for yourself and asked for help if you need it, because of them. As human beings we can find all sorts of ways to justify a lack of action and progress, and convincing ourselves that now is not the time because you know someone who is really struggling is a fairly reasonable argument. But unless you are caring for that person directly or are looking to take an appointment from them that would aid their recovery then the answer is to just flippin get on with it I’m afraid!

The people who love and care about you will want you to be well, successful and thriving so unless you’re taking the limelight from someone else’s care, which you won’t be if you quietly get on with your mission to improve, there really is no excuse but to ask for the help you need and move forward. Life is full of layers and we all have a different journey. There’s no reason why you can’t be doing well while someone else is working through a difficult time. It’ll give you great things to talk about when you meet up and I’m sure they’ll be pleased for you as long as you’re mindful of their situation when you talk about your own. Seeing people smile is contagious, as is listening to someone talk about what they’re passionate about ? You can help someone through a difficult time by telling them about your own kick ass plans, your successes, your mess ups, your getting back on the horse. That’s your journey, tell them about that and it might inspire them in their own journey of recovery.

If No One’s Listening, Look Beyond
If you feel there’s no point asking for help because no one is listening then you definitely do need to ask for help but look beyond your current field of vision. If you can, use the internet to find support services in your area or to find out more about the things you’re struggling with. Knowledge is definitely power and knowing your options in any situation can give you strength. In workplace situations, think about talking to HR colleagues, a Union rep or an organisation like ACAS if you don’t feel you’re getting management support. For more personal difficulties the power of Google will get you a long way to finding support in the form of formal support, peer support and therapeutic services. Counselling and coaching services are available via the NHS but often the waiting lists are long so see what other services are available to you locally. Just do one thing for me please, do something. Take action to change your situation because feeling like no one is listening is not good for you physically, mentally or emotionally. Find allies in support groups who will help you find the energy to make changes. They don’t necessarily have to be huge changes but even subtle changes can make a difference to your wellbeing and help you to smile again.

Your Wellbeing is Your Responsibility
If we don’t prioritise our own wellbeing, it’s unlikely that anyone else will. Sometimes we do need to shout a bit to make ourselves heard particularly if we’re viewed as a safe pair of hands, someone who always copes and is usually there for other people. We all need help sometimes so if you know people that you view in that way, as always being OK, ask them how they are and mean it. None of us are invincible and the value of someone checking in on our wellbeing, with kindness and sincerity, and giving us some time to explain how we really are can be worth the world ? And making someone smile during a difficult time can make you smile too.

So whether things are going well and you spend some time with an objective loved one to talk about what they would change if they were you or you’re starting a long steep hill climb to better things, please ask for help and practice that skill. We have the language we need in these more emotionally intelligent times, now we just need the courage to act and the momentum to move forward. You can’t generate momentum unless you stand up, so metaphorically stand up today, ask for help and build a fabulous positive energy for 2019 ?

Take good care please and enjoy your vegan, dry January. It’s good for your wellbeing! ?

Best wishes, Karen