How to ask for help

It's OK to rely on others sometimes. Credit: Getty Images/Image Source
It’s OK to rely on others sometimes.
Credit: Getty Images/Image Source

During my lectures and workshops I often hear people complain that they’re not feeling supported by others. They might be upset with their work colleagues, families or friends, but whatever the circumstances, they’ve all slipped into victim mode by resenting others for their lack of support. Rather than commiserate with these folks, I immediately ask, “Are you asking for help?” The most common response I receive is, “No, I’m afraid to ask for help.”

You see, if we want to be supported by others, we need to get comfortable asking for support. There are many fear-based beliefs that hold us back from asking for help. Thoughts like, “If I ask for help I’ll be too vulnerable,” or, “I’m afraid to ask for help because I’m scared of being disappointed.” These fears can be paralyzing and they keep us stuck in the pattern of never asking for help and later resenting others for not helping. If we want to receive help from others we need to learn to ask for it.

It’s important to accept that it’s safe to ask for help. The first step is to just ask, even if you’re uncomfortable. The best way to create a new pattern is to step outside your comfort zone and do what you fear most. You can start today: Keep it simple by merely asking a stranger to hold the elevator or a coworker to bring you a coffee. Begin to exercise your asking muscles and create a new pattern.

Another tip that will greatly serve you here is to know that by asking for help you are helping others. Deep down, all people truly want to serve others. When you ask someone for help, you give them the gift of service. When they exercise service they are released from their own inner conflicts and they’re elevated by their own commitment to serve. Don’t deny others the opportunity to help you.

If you’re really ready to exercise your asking muscles, join me on Jan. 11 in NYC, where I’ll be answering questions live for an episode of a new series on the Oprah Winfrey Network. To get help from me and be featured on the show visit http://intentblog.com/participate-television-series-nyc-author-gabrielle-bernstein/.


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