In the last articles we talked about the change of season, which is not just that of the wardrobe, but what can be defined as the change of season of the soul, and one of the ways to deal with it is to get out of your comfort zone. Each of us has the opportunity to make this journey alone with their own means, as long as we have the will to transform what we no longer like or no longer does for us into something that is. Sometimes, however, the will alone is not enough, it is then the time to choose to ask for help!
Sometimes the will is not enough
There are times when the will alone is not enough, because it happens not to have enough of it, to feel the push but not have the physical, emotional, and mental strength to activate it, or to stumble, to get lost, to have the sensation of turning in the round without going anywhere. The education we received triggers the mechanism of “I have to do it by myself” because otherwise, I am weak, I am not perfect … and obviously, everyone can put their own “not being enough” something. Then we become stubborn, and the more we struggle, we fidget to get out on our own, the more we tire and it becomes difficult. The desired goal moves away, we end up discouraged and abandoning. With a double effect: that failure confirms our “I am not enough this or that”, and that situation is not forgotten, but simply set aside, but continues to ferment and sooner or later, the product of that fermentation will make it explode, and we will be point and head … even worse.
There is a different solution: to choose to ask for help
It is very difficult to choose to ask for help because linked to this request there are all the beliefs connected to the meaning of this gesture. We have grown up in an educational model that tends to favor and reward self-demanding, perfectionism. It is almost as if we must be self-sufficient and independent. We have allowed ourselves to be convinced that we do not need anyone to move forward and that we can only rely on ourselves, that to choose to ask for help is a sign of weakness, and this belief is based on different elements. On the one hand, there is pride, on the other, there is a barrier: I do not want the other to know what I consider my weaknesses and my difficulties.
In Western culture, during our growth, we are subjected to innumerable rules and models that condition our choices and our behaviors. In many of these, the idea that receiving help is synonymous with inadequacy and incapacity is rooted. So if it is true that on the one hand there could be pride, on the other the real reason is this belief: “if I ask for help, I am inadequate, I am incapable!”. This is false. We want to believe that we are all Supermen or Wonder Women who do not need anyone to move forward, and this belief has taken root so much that we no longer trust anyone.
Let’s try to do a little reflection, how many times have we come into contact with rules such as:
“Never show your weaknesses to others because others will not understand you, they will think you are not capable, they will despise you”
or another, perhaps even more recurrent:
“If you want to achieve something in life do it alone, who makes from himself makes for three.”
Let’s think about what we can gain from living these experiences linked to the myth of individualism, of being alone as a sign of strength.
We are social animals
Never as in this moment in which we are forced to the so-called social distancing, we are realizing how much these rules actually are unnatural. How can we think of living this myth of individualism if we simultaneously experience the suffering of distance? There is something dystonic. We move in a super competitive world with the belief that there is always a give and take mechanism, the thinking that arises is: “if I ask for help, I will have to return the favor”. But even in this case let’s ask ourselves some questions:
“When someone asks me for help, do I expect to receive something in return if that request is sincere and has no hidden agenda?”
“When I am helping, do I expect to receive something in return?”
Let’s take some time to answer, leaving aside what we think is the right answer and dwelling on what we really feel.
Admitting your limits is an act of courage
To choose to ask for help implies admitting our limitations and not having all the answers. Doing so is an act of humility and courage, through which we recognize that we do not have all the tools to overcome that situation or to achieve that goal. Asking another person to help us with their tools does not mean putting yourself in an inferior situation. Nobody is superior to anyone. Think of the office’s place where it often happens that no one knows perfectly the various computer programs, but that knowledge is widespread among all present because everyone knows some features. So when a person does not know how to use a function, there is certainly someone else in the room who can do it, and thanks to everyone’s contribution there is a complete knowledge of the tools.
Similarly, none of us is superior to the other, each has pieces, and placing them at the disposal of the other people, we receive in exchange for different ones. So if I ask for help, I’m asking that person to make me available the tools that he knows and that I don’t have, having others available. There is no theme of superiority, but there is a theme of complementarity. This makes us freer to ask, because we know that we will be ready to do our part, when it is our turn, with the awareness that on the other side there are no prejudices but a desire for mutual support.
Our culture is based on the exchange
Certainly, there are many of us who have negative experiences because we have met people who were not willing to give us a hand or who expected to be compensated in exchange for the help given. Our culture is based on personal interest, on the exchange of favors. In reality, the real exchange is not in returning the favor, but in the relationship that is created. The moment I am helping you and giving you my tools, you are giving me something back, because you are showing me how to achieve the result or how to solve the problem, and from your actions, I learn. Then a relationship of exchange is really triggered that if it could be represented with a symbol, it would have the lemniscate trend, the symbol of infinity, the eight lying down. Giving and receiving. Except that what we receive in return is not what we expect, it is not a favor returned, but it is something else: it is the experience that the other person brings to us by telling us about his difficulty and showing us how he overcomes it.
We dare to ask for help, trusting that we are not alone and there are many people willing to help us. Developing this courage will help generate feelings of generosity, compassion, mutual attention, and stop feeling judged, labeled as wrong, different, and incapable.
The first step is “let’s help ourselves!”
The first people we can ask for help and listen to, are our relatives and friends. However, it happens that friends and relatives cannot have the emotional detachment necessary to be able to help us, or that we have difficulty opening ourselves completely to them. Then we can choose to ask for help from a professional. The coach is the professional who helps us find the way to our goal, our desires. He/she is someone who stands by our side and helps us, stimulates us, supports us in finding the resources to achieve what we want for our private life, our professional life, or our relationships.
- Is your stress level going up?
- Did you believe that after the summer everything would be back to normal? ⠀
- Are you struggling to conciliate working from home and family management?
- Do you feel like you are losing control of your life?
- Do you find that you don’t have enough focus, waste time, and feel like you’re always rushed?
- Isn’t a night’s sleep enough to recharge you and your energy is running low? ⠀
- Do you feel that we will not return to normal and you are having difficulty getting used to the idea?
- Before Covid-19, were you already thinking about the direction to give your life? What are your true wishes?
Then it’s time to join a free video call with me to see how I work! You can book your session here. My coaching model helps you to connect with your inner voice and brings a concrete change in your life, you will close the session with new insights about yourself!
What are you doing? Are you choosing to help yourself?