Getting What You Need: Asking for Help

"Fortune befriends the bold." - John Dryden

I regularly work with clients on making major life changes in line with a new definition of personal success. There are many methods we use in this process: identifying values, removing distractions, getting in touch with their inner wisdom, creating a powerful vision, knowing their energy limits, etc. However, one of the most important methods is often overlooked -- getting what they need by asking for help when they need it.

Taking the time to seek help can be a real boost to your productivity when going through change. It is very easy to waste a lot of time going in circles trying to re-invent the wheel without even realizing we are doing it. At first, it can feel more efficient to do things by ourselves. But when the situation is too big for us, this approach can eat up a huge chunk of our time. Quick and easy sources of help are sometimes just a phone call away or a simple email to a trusted source.

Isn't it funny, though, how asking for help is often our last resort? It usually occurs at the end of the problem solving process -- when we are frustrated and feel as if we have hit a dead end. Instead, I would suggest starting any challenge by asking, "do I need help with this?"

Many of us are so used to being the helpers to others that the thought doesn't occur to us to reverse the roles and seek help for ourselves.

Why not consider all of the available resources?

Some people avoid asking for help because they don't want to "bother" others. If this sounds like you, do you remember the last time someone asked you for help? Were you bothered? Probably not. In fact, you might have even been flattered and happy to contribute. Helping others feels good! Why not give others the chance to feel good about contributing to you?

I once gave a client the assignment of accepting all the help that was offered to her in one day. She was a successful small business owner and she was not allowed to offer help to anyone else for 24 hours (unless of course there was an emergency or such). She spent the day allowing others to open doors, make copies, and pick up the dishes after meals.

Her job was simply to acknowledge the help and express gratitude. This was a very difficult assignment for an independent person who was not used to recognizing all of the help available to her in a given day! Through this exercise she learned that she was much more accustomed to being a