Receiving Help as an Act of Generosity

Asking For Help

I’m changing my mind about asking for or accepting help, when I need it. What I learned growing up was be needless/wantless, be self-sufficient, be self-reliant, and never be beholden to anyone. I equated asking for or receiving help as freeloading, a sign of weakness, or of poverty. “Who are you to have needs, with so many other people in the world in much worse need?” That’s how it landed for me, anyway. After 50+ years of living with those rules, I decided it was time to find a better feeling perspective.

So, working with my coach (yep, I have a coach too!), I discovered there is another more satisfying perspective for me to explore about asking for and receiving help.  We all can use some help sometimes. She asked me “how do you feel when you are asked for help by someone else?”  Hmmm.  “Well, generally, I really like being asked to help, sometimes even honored,” I replied. “It feels good to be able to assist someone.”  (BTW, neuroscience calls it the “helper’s high” – actually a chemical buzz from showing kindness or compassion to another.)  Then my coach asked me, “So, doesn’t it follow that if someone offers help I need or if I ask someone for help they, too, might feel good by my allowing and accepting their help?” Great point!

A Coach’s Skillful Guidance

With a coach’s skillful guidance, my new understanding of my assumptions about offering and receiving help is three-fold. First, I feel rebuffed when I offer help and it is declined or ignored, so maybe they do too?  Second, I found that I was fearful of the answer – whether yes or no!  And third, I see how being overly invested in “looking good” as needless/wantless and low-maintenance keeps me from connecting and moving ahead in life.  Ick.  As Joe Weston, author of an amazing new book “Mastering Respectful Confrontation” says, being vulnerable is actually a very powerful place in which to stand.

Okay, there are always exceptions to this.  But in most instances, my own new perspective on receiving help – whether requested or offered – is that accepting help can have outcomes much greater than the help offered.  It can engage connection with another, even when the help is not granted or ultimately received, and it also can be an act of great generosity.

It feels good to share my journey on asking for and receiving help. Thanks for reading this far.  And if any of this resonates with you or brings up some curiosity about your own beliefs, here are some Coach’s Inquiries to mull:

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  • Where can you really use some help, big or small, right now?
  • Who do you know who can help you?
  • What might be generous about asking them for help?
  • What if they say “no?”
  • What if they say “yes?”
  • Can you take “yes” for an answer?[/box]

This is a great example of ways in which working with a professional coach can help shift perspectives, to live more powerfully and with greater connection. Why not contact me today to set up a complementary 30 minute consultation call to explore ways that I may be of service?  (You might even want to ask me for help!)

 

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Take Imperfect Action

Thorough and Cautious? Or Scared…

Okay, I admit it. Sometimes, when I’ve got something in front of me that is new, or I don’t have ALL the answers, or have an ABSOLUTELY assured good outcome, I slip into a habit of delay.  For me, it looks like analyzing and digging for data and running through endless scary “what if” scenarios.  I tell myself that I’m just being thorough and cautious.

Thanks to coaching – both as a client and as a coach myself – I’ve discovered over time that I’m stalling because I’m kinda’ scared.  Scared of what, you ask?  Of failure. Of looking bad. Of making a mess. Of not doing something perfectly. The endless loop of indecisiveness was my preferred strategy to for playing it safe, but it was also keeping me in the “Land of Stuck-ness.”  Busted.  Now I know better.

Maybe this sounds familiar?

I’ve discovered for me, and for many of my clients grappling with this delay tactic, is that there are more satisfying alternatives to feeling stuck.  Here’s one that I find works well for me — Take Imperfect Action.

Take Imperfect Action means pushing past the scary unknowns and just moving ahead.  This isn’t about being reckless or impulsive. It means doing reasonable due diligence, gathering adequate data, discerning, and then choosing a course of action.  And then taking mindful — if imperfect – action, informed by my current understanding and resources.

And something happens that is quite remarkable. Taking action, albeit imperfect, tends to create spaciousness for new things to emerge – people, resources, opportunities, and ideas. Stuff seems to show up at the perfect time, after imperfect action being taken. It’s uncanny.

When I let go of the need to “look good” or the illusion of being able to live failure-free and just take imperfect action, I feel better. I feel lighter, freer, and even playful.  My clients tell me they have similar experiences, by doing reasonable due diligence, then just Take Imperfect Action.

If this intrigues or resonates for you, I have some questions for you to ponder:

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  • What are you feeling stuck about?
  • What imperfect action are you willing to consider?  Pick one.
  • What data or resources are missing to take informed imperfect action?
  • What are you saying “yes” to by taking this imperfect action?
  • What are you saying “no” to by not taking this imperfect action?
  • What happened the last time you acted without perfect information or absolute assured outcome?
  • What imperfect action will you take next?

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Working with a professional coach is a great way to explore unquestioned limiting beliefs and move ahead in life. A coach can help you discern and commit to action, then help you be accountable. Your coach will help you unpack the process and outcome to deepen the learning. I bet your coach will also celebrate you taking informed imperfect action. I sure would!

Why not contact me to schedule a complementary 30 –minute consultation call.  I’d love to explore ways in which I can help you identify and then take imperfect action toward creating the life you are meant to live!

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