This is the third in a three-part series on SUPPORT.
If you missed Part 1, you can check it out here.
If you missed Part 2, you can check it out here.
I’ll just put it right out there: I need help. Not all the time, but more than I let on. I may act like I’m good or doing well enough or hanging in there. But the bottom line is that I need support way more than I ever ask for it. Let’s be real– my life isn’t easy and I can only surmise that yours isn’t a piece of cake either.
In this series on support, we have looked at reasons why we think we SHOULDN’T ask for help. We’ve looked at why we DON’T ask for help. But now we come down to brass tacks—WHY WE NEEEEEEEEED TO ASK FOR HELP!!!
No matter how scary it can be or how worried we might be about what others think, seeking support is our safety net in this life. We can’t do it alone, life that is. And we don’t do it alone, even if we like to pretend that we do. Just like Althea Gibson says, “No matter what accomplishment you achieve, somebody helped you.” Think about it… It’s true.
So here we go. The final list of 10.
10 Reasons Why We Absolutely Neeeeeeed to Ask for Support
1. We need to ask for support because we aren’t perfect (not by a long shot) and we aren’t meant to be perfect. Which means that we cannot “perfectly” accomplish everything we set out to do. Which also means, that no matter how much we want others to think we have our shit all together, we don’t. And they don’t either. And it’s totally ok. And it’s totally normal. And to take the fear out of this situation, someone has to be willing to stand up and say, “I am not perfect. I can be a mess.” so that others will also feel they are able to do the same. I’ll start. “I am not perfect! I can be a mess!” See?? I survived! I get that I didn’t have to say it to your face, but still…
2. We need to ask for support because we don’t have all of the answers (*cough*cough* look back at #1). We don’t always know what to do. Do you let your kids listen to songs with a couple of questionable lyrics? Do you let go of something you are sure you are right about, even without an apology, in order to keep the peace? Do you say good-bye to your old dog who has heart cancer? Do you take the job you’ve been waiting for your whole career or stay home because your family really probably needs you more? While we have to make our final decisions, getting input from someone else can often help us see something new or validate what we think is best.
3. We need to ask for support because we can benefit from other people’s strengths (*cough*cough* #1 & 2 again). I know I’m harping on similar concepts, but they are biggies when we are talking about why asking for support is, well, so supportive. We all have strengths in different areas and we can save ourselves a lot of hassle by going to someone that knows more than us. (They exist, I promise.) There’s no shame in not being an expert in everything.
4. We need to ask for support because we sometimes need to ‘borrow motivation’ because we don’t always have our own. It is so fabulous to have someone to cheer you on! I have a particular friend who I swallowed my embarrassment for and asked for support. She has a busy/complicated life without me and she, without a thought, jumped on board with offering me practically daily support. Go figure. People can really rock 😀
5. We need to ask for support because it allows others to get the “feel goods” by being there for someone else. Seriously. Think about it. When you are able to help someone else out, doesn’t that feel fabulous?? Do you want to deprive someone of a chance to feel fabulous in this life…? Probably not…?
6. We need to ask for support because the reality is that we don’t always get it right. True ‘dat (as my 8-year-old son said this morning…WTH???). This one really takes some guts. It’s hard to admit that we make mistakes, we really mess it up, we sometimes full-on fuck it up. If we don’t need help then, I don’t know when we do.
7. We need to ask for support because sometimes we need a bit of tough love and accountability. Sometimes we just aren’t living up to our potential, we aren’t doing what we know we need to do, or we are totally going the wrong direction (*cough*cough* check out #6 one more time). This one also really takes some guts. But if it weren’t for close friends who were willing to tell me I needed to pull it together on occasion, I don’t know where I would be.
8. We need to ask for support because it creates opportunities to strengthen personal connections. Helping someone creates a bond, a caring, and a desire to see the other succeed. It helps us understand each other. It creates closeness—which is just plain ‘ole good for the soul.
9. We need to ask for support because it lets you know that you are not alone and neither they. Have you ever felt alone in your struggles? If you are anything like me, the answer would be lots. But every time I have reached out, I have been shown that my isolation has been self-imposed. I’m not so unique in my issues that no one can relate. I’m not so “special” that no one can get it. What I have found is that almost everyone relates, on some level, to my struggles. Do you have any idea how good it feels to not feel alone….?
10. We need to ask for support because it increases the likelihood that we will, in return, be asked for support. When we let others into our own experience and let them know that we struggle just like they do, they are more likely to feel safe coming to us for support. They are more likely to reach out because they know we won’t judge. They are more likely to reach out because they know we get it (*cough*cough* see numbers 1-9). And, really, don’t we want to be the one that is there for the peeps we care about? Don’t we want to feel like, even though our life might be hard, we can be there for someone else…?
I hope this series on support has been encouraging for you in terms of why it is soooooo good for us to ask for help and why it is so good to be there to help others! We have so much to give and so do the people who care for us.
And even if you’re not motivated by the above 10 reasons, asking for help, at the very least, makes life easier 😆 I bet all of you are open to easier! But I also bet all of you are open to making your life, and the life of others, easier…