Why it's ok to ask for help
Why do we tend to do everything by ourselves and end up overwhelmed and exhausted? Does the ability to do things myself mean that I am strong, capable and I will have everything done exactly the way I want it? Even if that would be true, isn't the price we pay too high?
It is funny that people who need help most often do not see it. I certainly was one of them. I can imagine that many of you have been raised the same way as me. Hearing from everywhere statements like these: "You must be strong", "if you want to have something done properly you must do it yourself", "you must learn to do stuff yourself."
So, naturally believing members of my family I did all those things. I became the independent woman I was expected to be, and I even thought that it was cool. Well, at least until I realised that I was a perfectionist, overwhelmed by all the tasks I was trying to complete at the same time, I was exhausted every day and I didn't even know what the words ‘enjoying life’ meant.
You have the power, learn to accept the help when needed.
Sure, it is good to be independent, but it is even better to be independent and get help when needed. Most of us find it easy to ask for help from a family member or a friend but a very small percentage of people would ask for help connected to mental health. We all see those incredible people who are successful, rich, living a healthy lifestyle in beautiful houses in dreamy destinations. They are abundant – they have it all.
Helping the helpers
Unfortunately, we often do not see or maybe choose not to see all those habits they had to create in order to reach their goals. And here is the biggest surprise – they are not alone! They have someone who keeps them accountable and helps them on their journey. Yes, you read it correctly. Successful people work on themselves constantly and they let therapists help them to remove their blocks, fears or other problems they may be facing in their lives. They also use coaches to help them transform their dreams into reality. Trust me, it really is helpful to see things from a different point of view.
As a therapist, I'm learning something new every day. I read books and watch many videos to expand my knowledge and recently I watched one from a well-known purpose coach, who revealed that he also has a coach. I was thrilled by hearing that information.
These days you can hear a lot about mindfulness, meditations, self-help books, hypnotherapy and even more different therapies but it doesn't seem to be normalised just yet. Some people still seem to be scared to reach for help: they are possibly afraid of being judged by society, family members or fear to admit the fact that they actually need help. Of course, I don't mean to imply that we all must have our own therapist and coach, even though I believe that it would be very useful. Let me explain the idea in some examples.
A. You're preparing dinner and cut your finger just a little. This is something you, most likely, can sort out yourself at home with wound spray and plaster.
B. Preparing dinner again but this time you cut your finger badly. You still attempt to deal with it at home. This time you are not too sure what to do so you may search for help on the internet. You end up going to the hospital anyway and you are horrified when the doctor informs you that you could have lost your finger if you arrived minutes later. They save your finger and provide guidance on the following steps of your treatment.
C. You are experiencing pain in your belly. It may not be anything serious and you possibly reach for painkillers, but the pain gets worse and you must seek a doctor. Later you find out that the pain is caused by the appendix and that surgery is necessary. Again, guidance on the following steps of the treatment is provided.
Here are some questions for you:
- Would you feel bad going to the doctor with a problem?
- Would you be ashamed if your friends or colleagues found out about the visit to the hospital?
- Would you tell your friends and colleagues that you are seeing a therapist or coach?
In my opinion, it works similarly with our mental health. Like in A, you can sort out many little things by yourself. You can read self-help books, meditate, sign up for a masterclass, watch some videos online etc. But if it is not helping and problems and symptoms remain, you should search for help as soon as possible so you prevent them from taking over your life, like in example B.
In example C, you have to search for help and get a specialist immediately in order to stay alive. I would honestly recommend getting professional help even for little problems similar to case A so you can get proper guidance and recommendations of materials that can help you with a specific problem. Seriously, we (most of us therapists) study and read a lot even after getting our certificates. I am happy to recommend some books or videos relevant to you. That is much better than searching through the internet not knowing what to look for.
Help is available
Our mental health is extremely important, I even dare to say the most important. Please, lovely readers, I do not want to scare you, but I cannot stress this enough. Stress, anxiety and depression often creep up suddenly and people get hit by them very hard. There are also many other problems that we may notice too late like addictions or sleeping problems. Some limiting beliefs are rooted deep in our subconscious and may be triggered unexpectedly and change our life fast.
Please know that help is available and ready for you. No matter what you are going through, you can be helped. Do not underestimate anything that makes you feel unwell or uncomfortable for long periods (I would say days). Reach for help, it is easier than you think. If you are not sure about what kind of therapy or specialist is suitable for you, please ask, I am happy to help advise you.
I personally use Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) and I have fantastic results with clients. Maybe some of you just feel a bit overwhelmed and would benefit more from a coaching session rather than a therapy. Either or, it is ok to get help, even for the smallest things. We all must decide on preferences.
Would you prefer to ask for help from a specialist or friend to experience less stress and enjoy more time with family or doing what you love? Or do you choose to be very independent, do everything yourself and get overwhelmed and stressed? Do you prefer to worry about what people think or to get the life you desire? You have the power, learn to accept the help when needed.
Notice the little things. Not just on yourself but also on others. If you feel like your wife, husband, child, colleague, boss, employee or neighbour needs help, try to help them feel normal about it. Tell them that it is ok to get help. One on one sessions, group sessions for teams and webinars are available and easy to access online. Let us help each other and create better lives for all of us!