Do Yourself a Favor, and Ask.
I’m really bad at asking for help. Well, I was. I put that to rest in 2016.
The resistance to ask was based on shame. One of those remnants from childhood. Here’s the story I would tell myself “If they wanted to help me, they would offer. Since they didn’t, they don’t want to.”
The unspoken thought behind it was “Because I’m not worth it.” I’m not worthy of their help.
A ride from the airport, editing help for one of my articles, etc. Anything at all, really.
Or if I did work up the courage to ask I would diminish what I needed. I would ask for a half favor, or in a way that didn’t convey my need. My shortcomings in expressing my need didn’t allow my friends to step up.
I had minimized the ask to such low levels if they said “I can’t do this right now, sorry,” it perpetuated my cycle. All on me of course, none of this was their fault. Their “no” reinforced my belief and the ask became smaller until it all but disappeared. Rinse and repeat.
Minimizing my need allowed me to manage my vulnerability, keeping myself tucked in and safe.
It’s silly really, when my people ask me for help I really enjoy stepping up. It sincerely gives me great pleasure to extend a hand when asked. My self-worth issues and fear of vulnerability were denying others the same pleasure.
I got called out on this habit early last year. Becoming aware of our own shit is not fun. I responded with my why — justifying my face off. Wanting to sway the situation in line with my beliefs I held firm for a few months.
I stewed and then called myself out. Breaking down, crying and admitting the roots to myself. And then I got down to business and asked. I asked a few times directly with what I needed. Dipping my toes into the vulnerability pool rather than jumping into the deep end.
Sometimes I got a no. Which was perfectly fine for me. Really. The response wasn’t important, it was my asking that mattered. I put myself in emotional bootcamp with every request. I knew I had done a good job when I sent the message and my palms would sweat.
The difference now in the ask is that the underlying worth thought is no longer with me. I know I’m worth it. The ask. I’m 100% worth it.
What about you, are you currently enrolled in some self-imposed emotional bootcamp? Tell me about it, won’t you? This is me asking.