Four-letter words often get a bad rap. And having bit of alpha-male energy myself (being my father’s only son, as he so affectionately refers to me) one of those four-letter words that has made me very uncomfortable in the past is “Help” (not the direction that you thought I was going, huh?).
Progress doesn’t happen solely on the back of one person, so why are so many of us afraid of asking for help? Is it that we feel that asking for or receiving help is a sign of weakness? Or perhaps we don’t want to feel obligated to someone else. Whatever the root, for those of us accustomed to giving help, asking for some is often very uncomfortable.
I have been so fortunate to be able to embrace this four-letter word over the past nine months and in turn, receive input from a variety of very smart and interesting people. What I have learned is that receiving help doesn’t make you weaker, it can actually make you better (of course, if you don’t abuse asking for it). I have been able to learn quickly and efficiently. I have been able to get to know people on a different level. I have been able to forge new relationships. And I have been able to advance my personal and professional goals.
The weakness in asking for help isn’t the word, it is the feelings that we associate with it, rightly or wrongly. My weakness was not asking for help- I was actually weaker when I was unable to go outside of my comfort zone and be vulnerable.
For those of you who have given me help when I asked (and in some cases, when I didn’t ask), thank you- you have made me a better person. I hope that this will encourage others to ask for help, even when it is way outside of your own comfort zone.
And for everyone else, perhaps you will at least see the good side of four-letter words!