Why it can be so hard to ask for help (and what to do about it)

I love helping. 

Nothing beats the feeling I get when I help to brighten someone’s day, soften their pain, or make their load a little bit lighter.  In fact, I’ve designed my entire business model and reverse engineered this chapter of my life to make this possible every day.

My heart sings when I find new ways to be more accessible, available, and generous with my time.

When someone gives me their trust and asks me for help it feels like a gift to me.

Okay, admittedly, I love being asked for help in areas that I know I do well, yet, more and more, I challenge that caveat, and remind myself that when someone asks me for help, they truly believe that I can be of service. I recognize that their request is an invitation for me to move through any thoughts of my own weaknesses and lean in, say yes, and focus on what they need.

For me, this process has definitely created many opportunities for growth.

So, knowing all these benefits offerring help can bring, why is it so difficult to ask for and receive help ourselves?

Even when we “know” that asking for help is a sign of strength and not a weakness, making it a practice can be new territory for many leaders.

Perhaps we hear voices in our heads like:

  • “I should be able to do this on my own.”
  • “I don’t want to impose.”
  • “I don’t want them to feel obligated.”
  • “I don’t want people to know I need help.”
  • “This is a silly question.”
  • “I’m being selfish.”

Here’s the truth.

Asking for help may not be a selfish act.  Receiving the help you need often makes it possible for you to show up as your best self, have the impact you are meant to achieve, and make the biggest difference in people’s lives.

Here are three fresh examples from my own business:

Last month, an extraordinarily successful leader and past client of mine gave me a call with an idea of how she could help me – as a thank you for our work together.  I hadn’t asked for her to bring her expertise into my business, and honestly, I never would have.

Her gift to me – other than the tangible (and priceless) results of her work – was that it opened me up beyond helping others, to asking and receiving on my own behalf.

A few weeks later, yet another incredibly talented entrepreneur offered to bring his technical and artistic expertise into my business – again as a thank you.  What a gift he has given me, helping me connect with leaders I don’t yet know.  
I would have never thought that our collaboration would be possible, and I am so grateful that he offered his help (and that I didn’t say “oh, no, you don’t have to do that.”).
Finally, last week, I was on a big writing deadline (a chapter in book I will be a part of – details soon!) and I was stuck. Following the momentum that came from receiving help, I took a deep breath and reached out to an old colleague and “out of the blue,” I asked for this busy woman’s help.


She immediately said yes, which enabled me to submit on time, and take her incredible notes and suggestions forward into my future writing with appreciation.
As you move through your day, and as you intuitively look for ways to help and be of service to others, I invite you to find areas where you need help.
Find those wonderful moments where you can invite others to be a part of your work and your causes. Pause before you turn down an offer for help. Creating a practice of offerring, receiving and asking for help can connect us to each other, and help us all create the impact we are meant to acheive.  And when that occurs, we are all making the world a better place. 
To your success,


P.S. – I love hearing from you!  Where are the areas you need help, and why? Who would love to help you acheive THAT?

And, if you’re feeling like you’re at a crossroads of some kind, let’s get on the phone to see if I can be of… help!

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