Ask For Help, Not To Be Rescued
I’ve found myself in this position before. Determined not to be seen as weak, I went all in on a project without thinking it through, and found myself stuck, waiting to be rescued. Here’s what happened.
I took a look around our bedroom and declared that we needed a change. I thought about running my idea by my husband, but figured I’d get the “not right now” response, and it would be fun to surprise him anyway. My plan required moving all our bedroom furniture, which I felt that one way or another I could do on my own. I’m a strong, independent woman after all.
I surveyed the belongings and started to move all the furniture, piece by piece, like a very complicated puzzle. Until of course I got stuck. I pondered my predicament for a few moments and determined that yes, I was very much stuck, and needed help. My husband was happy to help, but did ask me yet again why I don’t ask for help in the first place.
He had a point. Asking for helping when you’ve already created the mess isn’t really asking for help. It’s asking to be rescued. I tend to ask to be rescued more then I ask for help, which is the opposite of what I’m trying to do. By not asking for help in tasks that are traditionally thought to be more masculine, like moving furniture, I’m trying to communicate that I am a strong, competent woman, who is able to handle all.the.things by myself.
Asking to be rescued is, one could argue, worse than asking for help in the first place. Being self-aware enough to know your limitations and know your strengths and weaknesses is a huge strength, and one that is expressed by asking for help. I realized I needed help to get comfortable asking for help, so to do this there are three key points I’m going to remember whenever I doubt the power of asking for help:
- Asking for help means I am strong. Being able to ask for help is a sign of strength, not of weakness, as author Margie Warrell discussed in her book Brave. Asking for help requires you to be aware of your personal strengths and weaknesses, and have an understanding of the things you may need to push yourself to do vs. what you truly aren’t able to do. In my example, I could have moved some pieces of furniture on my own, though I knew deep down before I started I couldn’t move them all.
- No one goes it alone. Have you ever been told that it takes a village? I truly believe that it does. There is no one person on this planet that does all that they do without any help. Not one person. So, you’re in good company when you ask for help.
- When and where to ask for help is a personal choice (so don’t compare!). In the media today we are constantly shown examples of women seemingly thriving on their own, and it begs the question, how are they doing it? When you find yourself starting to compare and think less of yourself for needing your village, remember we are not shown the life behind the scenes of these women, and in almost all of those instances, they are getting help with some part of their life. When and where they are getting help though is dependent on how their life looks, and where they need it the most. Remembering that each relationship is unique and comparison isn’t an option is crucial to getting the help you need to be your most awesome self.
Hopefully by now you’re thinking that asking for help may not be such a bad thing. If you are, think about one way you can ask for help, and ask for that help today. Then, make a note of how you feel after asking for help. If it is anything like my experience, you’ll feel a little lighter and smile a little bigger.
Becca is currently a Director in sales at a technology company in Washington DC, Co-Founder of Pop and Banter and the co-host of the Pop and Banter podcast. As a Director in sales she is responsible for managing the relationship with top media and ad tech clients, and assisting them with their digital strategy and overall research needs. She started her career in media research in NYC over 11 years ago, and during that she has moved to the west coast and back, spent a summer in New Zealand on an avocado orchard, and became a wife and a step-mom to three boys (19, 14 and 13). The experience she gained through transitioning jobs and traveling the world has given her a unique opportunity to try various habits and ways of living to see what stuck and what things ultimately helped her move her life forward. This unique perspective is what she regularly shares on the podcast, which aims to empower women and give them tips on how to lead their best life. She loves this work as she is lifted up by helping those around, and is delighted by the opportunity to assist other working women and moms.
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