In my family of origin, self-sufficiency was something that was praised and admired, even more so when times got tough. I grew up in this bootstrapping environment, for better or worse. While I experienced my fair share of struggles in this family structure, I also witnessed how it made me a stronger entrepreneur and a capable adult.
Through much of my adult life, I would never think about asking for help. It just wasn’t in my make-up. It wasn’t until I finished university with a fresh degree in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management and moved my life from New England to Silicon Valley that I began to understand the value in collaboration and teamwork. Even there, I found myself reluctant to show the vulnerability necessary to ask for help too often.
Fast forward half a lifetime, and now I’m stewarding 16 acres of lush tropical farmland in Panama. As I’ve grown into my own ability to express vulnerability in being my authentic self, I’ve grown in my cultivation of courage to ask for help. It feels absolutely JOYFUL to allow myself to receive the help of others.
I write today’s Mindful Moment after having my community over for a barn raising of sorts. As I spoke to friends about the eco bamboo cob cabin I’m building, one friend, in particular, kept reminding me that he wanted to help. He mentioned this again on my birthday, and in the celebration of the moment, I set a date and committed to a plan to host a group of friends for a workday on the farm. We made a day of it, and with 8 hands on deck and lots of laughter, we made a giant push forward on the building. Accepting the love and help from my community allowed me to stretch into the JOY of feeling supported.
So next time you could use some extra help but are reluctant to ask for it, remember these 3 Reasons Why Asking For Help IS Courageous.
1. Helping benefits the helper.
One of the reasons to ask for help doesn’t only benefit you. It benefits the person helping you. When we allow the helpers to offer their help and have it received with appreciation and joy, we give them the gift of sharing their wisdom and experience with us. When we do it all ourselves, we withhold these gifts from the people who care about us and want to help. Why wouldn’t you give them the opportunity to feel their value?
2. Sometimes, we don’t have a choice.
Even if you’ve bootstrapped your way to success, if you’re a solopreneur, or just enjoy the challenge, the day will come that you will need to ask for help. Without practice, this can be quite awkward. So why not overcome your vulnerability and start practicing with small requests now.
3. Asking for help connects us to our community
When we ask for help, we build stronger connections with our friends, family, and business associates. The friendships that we build through sharing help and being of service often last much longer than the favor for help does.
So next time you want to ask for help, are offered help, or help another, know that it’s ultimately the connection to our community and each other as humans that really matters. Our connection with each other is worth so much more than the awkwardness in showing our vulnerability.
I’m feeling the gratitude for my friends and community for their smiles and strength in helping me last week on the eco bamboo cob cabin. I couldn’t do it without all of the hands that have helped me get this far. Thank you!
“When we support other people to be more successful, we discover opportunities for collaboration that ultimately enable us to be more successful ourselves.” — Janine Garner
I hope you enjoyed this mindful moment. I always love reading your thoughts and comments, so go ahead and share them.
Infinite ∞ Love,