I have always struggled with asking for anything. Asking for help in particular has never been my forte. I have enough understanding now of my childhood to see where the pattern came from, but simply seeing the pattern isn’t enough. It requires actually stepping out and beginning to ask others to do things for me.
I know that many people suffer from the same problem. The fears may be slightly different, but the end result is the same, that asking for help is tremendously difficult. The root is usually one of the following:
Fear of rejection
Fear of losing control
Fear of being seen to be weak or incapable
Fear of being a burden
And again, even when we understand the root, it doesn’t magically make asking easier.
In the last month I have had to ask several people for help. I have had to ask someone to write a Foreword for the book I am working on. I have had to ask a bunch of well known authors to read and write comments on my book for the blurb. I have had to ask a few people to help out with the launch. And there have been a few personal issues that I have needed help with too.
What I have found is that practice makes it easier. I recognise that I am asking people to do a lot for me – in all cases it will require substantial effort. And yet in every case I have found a willingness to step up – even from people who don’t know me. It has been an extraordinary blessing.
I know that I will continue to sweat a little and procrastinate a lot when I need to ask for help. But this period of being forced to ask and receiving such willingness will be a good place to return to when I am next faced with having to reach out to others. I don’t think it will ever be easy, but learning to ask is an important skill.