By: Natasha Archary
There comes a point in life where we have to admit that whilst fully capable, there will be moments that defeat us and that’s perfectly normal. It is during these overwhelming instances that we need to realize we’re not alone and there are people who would be willing to lend a helping hand.
Accepting help is not something that comes easily however, as many view it as a sign of weakness. This couldn’t be further from the truth however.
Author, M. Nora Klaver, whose book “Mayday! Asking for help in times of need,” says asking for help is not just good for altruistic reasons but that it makes business sense too.
It’s human nature to want to prove that we can make it through a difficulty on our own, whether personally or professionally. Asking for help is not our first option. We’d rather fail miserably on our own than to share our struggles with loved ones and allow them in during times of need. Often it is the fear of being judged that holds us back from seeking help. We perceive it as a vulnerability and the notion that our life is derailing is what holds us back from asking for and accepting help.
As much as resilience is an admirable trait, there are times when you should not go through something alone. Strong though you undoubtedly are, you need a support system in life in general. Be it family or friends, stop the juggling act. Here’s how to accept help:
- Admit that you need help
It’s one thing to feel like you can take on the world on your own but don’t allow arrogance to cloud your decision to accept help. We’re human and not invincible. The weight of a failed relationship, trauma, job loss, or death can be a heavy load to bare. Going through it alone should not be your only option.
- Allow yourself to be vulnerable
Granted, admitting you need help and accepting assistance can sting. Especially at a time you feel your most vulnerable. Accept that there is nothing wrong in this vulnerability. You are still the independent, strong person your family and loved ones know you to be. The only thing that has changed is that you were presented with adversity. A challenge that is for the moment proving insurmountable.
- Move beyond the need for outside approval
Don’t dwell on your assumptions of what people will think or say. You don’t need external validation right now. You need to get past this phase. That should be your sole priority. People will have an opinion. When do they not? You need to establish the ground rule that you do not need to hear their thoughts on the situation until you are ready to discuss your options. Stress that for the moment all you need is a soft place to land.
- Learn to trust others
With the most minute task to the more taxing. Trust that the people you turn to are capable of handling whatever it is you throw their way. It is also part of the process. Letting people in at a time you are at a low point in life is a sign of strength not weakness. Have faith in their love for you, their good intentions and be secure in that they have your best interests at heart.
- Be grateful
Most people who extend a helping hand do not expect anything in return. Unless it’s financial assistance, which will need a little more negotiating to come to an agreement. Favours, assistance, emotional support, baby-sitting your kids for a few hours so you can sleep, whatever it is be grateful for their act of kindness. Make an effort to pay it forward or return the favour when you are in a position to.
Being resilient is a great quality to have. It shows character and is a mark of dignity for many. But we’re only human and at times the situations we face seem daunting and it is then that we need to accept our shortfalls. We all go through periods of struggle, it’s the circle of life. So stop trying to juggle it all on your own and learn to accept help along the way.