I had a very interesting experience a few days ago that led me to the insight of the importance of asking for help and also the importance of how we ask for help.
Here is what happened:
I was out having dinner with a new friend, chatting away in my favorite way of connecting, which is bypassing the chitchat to get to the heart of the matter of our lives. One of the questions I asked him was, “What pattern are you trying to break to create more freedom in your life?” He shared that he had difficulty communicating solutions that he so clearly saw in how people were conducting business. He continued to express his thoughts in a very passionate way, and I sensed a deep caring about the human problems that he wanted to help people solve. I offered my quick fix solution — you know — the tendency that’s inside us to want to fix things when someone is struggling. As much as I coach myself not to try to offer quick fixes, I can’t help myself sometimes.
Then my new friend asked me: What was I struggling with that I wanted to overcome? What came out of my mouth surprised me; setting up my new iPhone! I was having a major block switching from my BlackBerry to my iPhone, it felt completely overwhelming and the thought paralyzed me. When I would see people quickly press buttons to get instant access to maps or movie locations, restaurants, websites and all sorts of apps, I felt very jealous and wanted to be able to do it but I didn’t have the patience to go through the coaching. He looked at me with a slight grin, being that this man is also an engineer, picked up his phone and said, “These are just buttons that can help make your life easier and more flowing. There is nothing that stands between you and you getting your phone activated, you just go to the Apple store and tell them what you need to do.” I turned to him and said four magic words, which opened the path for me to move towards making it happen, “Can you help me?” I was direct and clear in asking without really knowing how could this man who lives out of town help me. He immediately said, “Yes, go this weekend and text me from there as soon as you have your iPhone.” I said I would.
Of course, the next day there was nothing in me that wanted to move towards going through the maze of the Apple store to start the process, there were a hundred other things far more important. A day later I got a text from my friend that said, “Waiting,” and he was waiting for my text; whoops I was caught! I didn’t really think he was serious about helping me, I thought it was just dinner conversation. I made an excuse that it was snowing and I promised that I would go the next day. He replied, “OK one more day, but that’s it.” Wow, I really had an ally in helping me.
Would you believe it, the next day I was at the store setting up a new phone line, my iPhone, a couple of apps and a fabulous minouette ring. I texted my friend from the store to share my victory; he called back and we ended up talking about the joy of having broken through my block. I thanked him for his support, and I shared with him my awareness of how powerful it is to ask for and receive help. I questioned him if he asks for help? He told me that he had great difficulty asking for help because he did not want to burden people. I asked him, “Did helping me feel like a burden to you?” He answered, “No it was a joy.” I expressed, “Why would you then deny that joy to other people and not give to them the same chance to have joy?”
This experience led me to have a lot of conversations with other people, if they ask for help and if not, why not? Here are some of the answers that I got:
A lot of people feel vulnerable and that they will be rejected.
Some don’t want to appear needy.
Some don’t want to impose on other people.
Some people are proud and feel they should do it all alone.
A few men said they don’t feel that they need any help!
Here is how I see it, asking for help in the absolute knowing that we deserve to be helped, is one of the most loving things we can do for ourselves; not coming from a place of entitlement, or having the expectation that someone should help us, but more like an owning of the areas that we need assistance with. There are hundreds of areas we are all good at and hundreds of areas that we are not, and after all, why should we expect ourselves to be good at everything? The asking is one of the most powerful things we can do for our human heart, because it allows us to be vulnerable, to be open and to receive. One of my favorite Bible quotes is, “Ask and you shall receive.” For me, the initial asking is from your spirit within, and then to reach out and ask those who can support you in your dreams, your visions and how to make them real; also how you can bring your gifts more to fruition and generally any aspects of your life that needs help. We might get it, or we might not, but we must ask and keep asking until we receive the help.
In the meantime, I am progressing little by little with my experience of using my iPhone and loving it….
Will you share with me what are your experiences with asking for help? How do you ask for help and how do you feel when you get it or not? I’d love to know your thoughts.
For more by Agapi Stassinopoulos, click here.