When I was younger I would; avoid asking for help at all costs. I would rather go without than ask for help in a store to find an item and I struggled in school because I wouldn’t admit to anyone – including myself – that I needed help.
I avoided asking for help for several reasons including shyness and the fear of looking weak to others.
That all had to change the day I survived my ischemic stroke to my spinal cord.
After my stroke I had to ask for help to do nearly everything I my life. I needed help to feed myself, to dress myself, to turn myself in my own bed, learn how to get around with my physical disability and the list goes on.
It was a humbling experience for a man who rarely ever asked for help to becoming a man forced to ask for help to accomplish the simplest tasks in life.
It didn’t take me long to learn that asking for help is not a weakness, instead it is a superpower for yourself and others.
When you engage your superpower by allowing others to help you, you are…
· Showing others you are not better than they are. Everyone needs help. When you do not ask for help (especially when it is apparent to all that you need a little help) you are saying that you are better than everyone else. Stop doing that and start allowing others to help you when you need it.
· Learning something new. When you allow someone else to help you, you may learn a new way to solve not only the problem at hand, but a different perspective that can help you solve problems in the future.
· Paying it forward. I am sure that there have been many people you have helped in your life. By allowing other to help you, you are giving other the opportunity to help their fellow man.
· Making someone else’s day. Have you ever noticed that when you help someone else you often feel god inside? Maybe you experience a warm feeling, or a smile overtakes your face, or it turns a bad day into a good for you – but when you help someone it makes you feel good. When you allow someone to help you, you are giving them the power to turn bad day into a good day.
To exercise this superpower, you do not need to have someone help you do something large like move or paint your home, it could be as small as opening a door or holding the elevator for you.
Being disabled, I see on a regular basis the smiles on peoples faces and hear the happiness in their voices when they do little things for me like opening a door.
Don’t forget to be polite. When someone does something for you thank them. If they do something for you without asking, and you did not need it done, still thank them.
The person who is helping you will have a better day and so will you.