Many people are stubborn. I had never thought of myself as stubborn until I learned I was an Enneagram 9. Only then was able to see that I’m easy going, but don’t ever tell me what to do. I will turn around and do the opposite thing so fast I don’t even realize I’m being stubborn.
Being stubborn can cause us to not read our situation correctly. It can cause us to be blind. And the more we are blind, the less we are able to see that whatever method we are using to solve a problem just isn’t working.
Hopefully, we eventually realize that we are acting insane. Well, maybe not that extreme, but you understand what I mean.
But what if you are doing the same thing over and over again because you don’t know what else to do?
It is at such times that seeking help is the solution.
The truth is, “Asking for Help” is an essential tool of the healing path.
However, despite it being an essential tool, our society views asking for help as a bad thing. For one, we think asking for help is a sign of ignorance. The truth is we don’t have all the answers. That doesn’t make us ignorant. NONE of us have ALL the answers. Furthermore, we don’t have all the skills we need. Nobody has ALL the skills. Well, except for Jamie Fraser in Outlander. His only flaws are seasickness and an inability to sing. *swoon*
Anyway, I digress.
We don’t have all the life experience we think we do. We are all still walking through life and learning. Therefore, it is actually a gift that we can ask others for help. Another societal “bad” view: asking for help is a sign of weakness. Well, that’s crazy talk, too! Is it a weakness to use a tool? No. Using a smart tool is a sign of intelligence and strength!
It was in the corporate world that I learned that it is more important to know how to find the answers than it is to know all the answers. Being able to do the research and ask experts was an important tool in getting the job done. And getting the job done showed strength in your position. Can you imagine how little we would all know if we didn’t use this tool of asking for help?
Lastly, some people believe that if they ask for help, they will be in debt to that person. Or, asking for help will cost money. That is sometimes true, like in the case of hiring a life coach. But I’ve always been able to find help when I need it, regardless of my financial situation.
And trust me, there have been many, many times in my life when I was so confused and frustrated that I didn’t know which way to turn.
Eventually, when I stopped being stubborn, I asked for help. My first step was usually to go to one of my consiglieres, like I talked about in a previous blog about Self Reflection. Trusted friends aren’t stuck in your fog of confusion like you are. And they know you inside and out. They can help you see what the problem is and help steer you in a better direction.
Other times, I have needed the help of a professional, like a life coach or a psychologist. It is nice to ask for help from someone who is trained in listening to your issues and seeing through it all to what the real problem is. And sometimes it is nice for that person to be a non-judgmental stranger.
I’ve also found help in philosophies and programs, like the Enneagram and the Conscious Cleanse. And, of course, self-help books.
My last tidbit of advice about asking for help is probably the most important one.
Don’t give up if the first person you ask can’t help you.
I have fallen victim to this many times. And I’ve seen my clients fall victim to this problem. Sometimes, I am the person they come to for help and I can’t help them. Most often because what they are asking is outside of my scope of practice. Or it is a problem that I know is more serious and they should probably seek more serious help from an expert. When I have to tell someone this, they are usually crest fallen.
The best thing you can do when you ask someone for help and they can’t help you is to ask for help again in the form of a referral.
“Can you give me some advice of where to go from here?”
“Can you suggest what type of professional I should seek out?”
“Do you have anyone you can recommend?”
When I can’t help a client with a problem, I do my best to give them an alternative path. And then I tell them, “And if that person can’t help you, ask them where to go next. The path will eventually take you where you need to be.”
See, asking for help is such an awesome tool that you can ask for help about asking for help!
Bottom line, sometimes asking for help is the bravest move you can make. You don’t have to go it alone.
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