Do You Ask For Help When You Don’t Know How To Do Something?
Can you do this clearly and assertively?
Or do you pretend like you know what you’re doing, avoid asking for help out of fear of looking stupid, and then scramble to do the best job you can?
A very common pattern in people who are struggling with social confidence is to avoid asking for help when they’re struggling with something. This pattern not only makes your life more stressful, it also contributes to poorer performance at work and lower satisfaction in your relationships?
What Stops Us From Asking For Help?
The major obstacle to asking for help is fear, primarily the fear of appearing stupid or incompetent.
This fear often takes the form of worry, with thoughts such as:
- What’s wrong with me?
- I should know this already.
- If they find out I don’t understand this, they’ll fire me.
This fear of looking stupid is based upon the false idea that in order to succeed in business or relationships, we should know everything and never make mistakes. As unrealistic as it is, many of us still carry these beliefs from growing up in competitive environments in which we frequently felt as if we were falling short in some way.
Asking For Help Leads To Success
The truth is being able to get guidance, support, and clarity are essential skills for anyone who’s successful in any area of life. The most successful people are those who find someone who’s good at what they want to learn, and then repeatedly ask for their help and guidance.
When we refuse to ask for help, we end up learning more slowly and we’re vulnerable to not figuring it out and then feeling self-critical or ashamed.
The key to asking for help is to do so without a hint of apology or supplication. So often, when we ask for help we’re believing the statements above – I should know this already, something is wrong with me…
When this is happening, we ask in a very meek and self-devaluing manner. When we devalue ourselves, other people feel that and start to question our competence and ability. In this way, we can create a negative self-fulfilling prophecy by regularly telling ourselves we are not good enough.
Conversely, if you ask for help boldly, with a smile on your face while making strong eye contact, it clearly communicates that you’re competent and merely seeking new information or skills.
More empowering beliefs that will help you ask for help in this way are:
- Of course I don’t know everything.
- Asking for help is responsible – to me and to others.
- The more I ask, the quicker I learn.
- Asking for help is a prerequisite for success.
What are other empowering beliefs you can come up with about asking for help?
Write them out on a sheet of paper and repeat them to yourself before you ask someone for help. In this way you will condition your mind to view help as an asset to your success rather than a liability.
The more you can open yourself to ask for and receive the help and guidance of others, the more rapidly you will succeed in business, relationships, and any area of your life.