Help is something that at more than one time or another we all need.
However for many, including myself, it’s been difficult if not impossible to ask for.
Why is that? Glad you asked because Asking for Help is the focus of our latest conversation here on Becoming Today.
Yesterday I shared a deep, intensely personal part of my life. A time when I was truly in despair, unable to see a way to seek help, and even when I thought I was asking for it, I was doing so incorrectly and in all the wrong ways.
“Luckily”, I discovered there was a correct method of operation. I say this, half jokingly, because it was nothing less than divine intervention that led me to a place where I could recognize, help, the assistance I truly needed was readily available.
This was the moment when I realized,
“Sometimes all it takes is a few loving sincere words, a smiling Texan and an angel disguised as a monkey in a dog’s body coming together in Spirit to lead us to the place where we can not only ask for, but also desire for and be able to accept the help we need.”
We all need help at some time in our lives. We all have an obligation to our fellow human beings to assist one another whenever possible.
Asking for, accepting and giving help are all uniquely different actions and attitudes, so over the next several days we’ll explore all three and learn how they are intertwined, working together to lift up both the recipients and the giver.
We’ll begin with considering the following queries:
Can you ask for help?
If yes, is it easy for you?
If not, why not?
Do you feel you deserve to be helped?
Why would you believe you were unworthy of help?
Have you been denied help?
I have asked all of these questions of myself and often hindsight will reveal quite a different view of my responses. So whether you are currently in need of some type of assistance, support or encouragement; or you can recall a time or several times when you were, consider these questions and compare the answers.
While none of our answers will be identical I believe we can find some commonality that helps us each be boosted and offer support for one another along our shared path.
As I mentioned. I have always found it difficult to ask for help. Whether it was pride or stubborn determination or the anger that led me to always proclaim, “I’ll show them!; far too often I felt as if I didn’t need it or if I admitted I did, it must be because I was weak. Both of which were falsely held beliefs that led to far more challenges than I wanted or may have even needed to endure.
Fortunately I lived, learned and am here to share better ways of overcoming. This is part of how and why “Becoming” became my way.And it will continue to be. As I launched this project declaring that this year of 20/20+1 would be the best year yet I made a covenant with you and God that I will do whatever it takes to help you along the way.
This all coming from a woman who was once too stubborn and angry to even consider asking for aid when she needed it most.
I have changed, grown and so can you.
Let’s explore some of the reasons why it may be difficult for you or someone you care for to ask for help. For some it’s due to low self-esteem.
Having low self-esteem means not holding yourself in high regard. You may not feel confident or capable, many feel anxious, and more than likely you are highly critical of yourself. Some psychologists contend that underneath feelings of low self-esteem are the negative beliefs and opinions we hold, and believe to be true about ourselves.
This can lead to feelings of unworthiness and an overall attitude you do not deserve to be helped. Both points which are wrong and wrong.
We are all worthy of receiving help. We are all created in God’s image. So what does that mean? It is having a conscious recognition that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)
It is understanding that we are “God’s handiwork”, and accepting that as God wants each of us to know, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5, NIV ).
When you are able to embrace these concepts then you will know that there is no need to feel guilty about asking for assistance of any kind, big or small.
Other factors that could cause you to find that it’s difficult to ask for help include how you were raised. What are some of those early imprints on your psyche?
What kind of messages did you receive about reaching out?
Was it seen as a weakness? Were you told to just “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? I always found that odd since none of us ever wore boots. So how could I do that if I didn’t have any to grab? Anyway I digress…
As I child when you asked for help, how did the people in your life respond? Were you supported and encouraged? Or belittled?
All these answers can help us determine why it may be difficult to ask for aid, even when we are many decades removed from childhood. It’s time to start unlearning those behaviors and beginning to realize that asking for help is a sign that you care enough about yourself to get the assistance you need.
For me, when I hit my lowest points I certainly did not find myself deserving and anywhere near worthy, but that was because I was losing the “Battlefield of the Mind”.
I had lost all connection with my heart and was lost in the anxieties of the mind. A place that as Joyce Meyer has taught so many, is where much of our troubles are a result of.
The mind is where the battle between worry and peace, fear and faith, you and the enemy takes place.
Whatever you allow to hold your thought, will rule your life.That’s why, in order to get over your fear and anxiety of asking for and / or accepting help you need to cast your cares. You must stop worrying before those concerns can start to take control.
When you first try to change this behavior it will seem like you’re having troublesome thoughts every minute. Acknowledge them. Then to help you let go, replace them with some encouraging words.
Memorize or read scriptures that reinforce the messages you want to be striving for. Put them on index cards, in your journal, on the refrigerator, keep a file on your phone, have them always at the ready for your times of battle.
Replacing your worry with the Word, shows your obedience. It glorifies God that you are taking a decisive corrective action. You are empowering yourself to learn, grow, and develop”.
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go. Are you ready to do some releasing?
Good. Let’s begin by outlining some steps to allow ourselves to ask for help.
- Clarify Your Focus
What is it you need to overcome? Why are you desiring change? How will reaching out ultimately aid you?
- Get UnComfortable
Step outside of your comfort zone. Embrace expanding the scope of your experiences.
- If At First You Don’t Succeed,…
Get over it. Then try and try again. Thomas Edison didn’t receive the answer to inventing the lightbulb on his first attempt. Instead he said he first learned 10, 000 ways not to do it. Failure can be a wise teacher. our dreams.
- Be Honest with Yourself
Don’t make excuses. When you are honest with yourself you will find it easier to confront what is truly bothering you and improve your chances of receiving the help you need.
- Know What You Want To Ask
It might sound really simple, but oftentimes people will struggle to explain what help they think they need or why they need it. You must be able to understand what you’re trying to overcome or no one else will be able to.
- Don’t Ask Just Anyone
Choose your words and those you share them with carefully. Seek wise counsel, don’t just go about grumbling and murmuring to everyone you encounter wisely and carefully. Determine the best person, or group to help you Find people who are worthy of your trust.
- Be Open To Accepting Help
If a qualified individual or organization is being kind in offering help spontaneously, say yes. Allow yourself to receive. Giving yourself permission to accept assistance requires faith that everything will work for your good.
- Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
If you make a mistake, need to try again or start over ,feel free to laugh at yourself and let it go. You may still need to navigate obstacles and detour around perceived roadblocks but worry not and take pride that you actually had the courage to ask in the first place.
At times we all need help. Don’t be embarrassed to ask. Turning to others in times of need should not involve shame. Instead realize it is a strength. A sign that you have achieved the wisdom that you can not handle everything by yourself.
Be willing to realize that you may not need the help you think you do. We don’t always require a solution to the problem we think they have. Sometimes you just need a little guidance. Help in establishing a new direction, finding a new center.
In asking for help we can receive a change in perspective, inspiration, or some practical encouragement that may result in transforming not only your circumstance, but your life as well.
You don’t always get what you think you want, but if you try sometimes, you might just get what you need.
Tomorrow here on Becoming Today, we’ll try to reach a place of acceptance, finding the steps along our shared path guiding us towards the place where we can openly accept help when offered.