Reluctance to ask for help when we need it can keep us bogged down in more work than is necessary—and ultimately lead to burnout. Moreover, it closes a lot of avenues be it job options, alternate careers, and getting more business.
Whether we are afraid of seeming needy or incompetent or just don’t trust others will help, here are some strategies that can help.
First, let’s be open to ourselves and others that we want to improve in this area. Talk to trusted colleagues informing them that we are working on getting better at asking for help.
Being upfront will make it easier to actually do it when the time comes. It will also prime them to be more receptive to these requests, reinforcing our help-seeking behavior and reducing reluctance to reach out for support.
Identify and unpack your limiting beliefs.
Ask yourself: What am I afraid will happen if I ask for help? These fears are likely emotional, not rational. Reflect on what’s underlying them.
Try small experiments.
Make small behavior changes to see the impact on how you feel and the response you get from others. It can be as simple as asking, “Can I brainstorm with you for five minutes?” or “Would you be willing to take a look at my client proposal and share your feedback with me?”