Asking for Help isn’t Weak. It’s a Sign of Taking Care of Yourself – Charlie Brown
Neither your life, nor your career should be an endurance test.
Think about it. Throughout your infancy, you only knew you existed because someone looked at you. You felt seen. Someone responded when you cried. You felt heard. That’s how you reached your next phase of development. That’s what you needed to become more confident and autonomous. Attachment is a foundational human need for growth. You were the stimulus that created the response necessary to persist. You asked for help. You were the first solution to your earliest problems.
We never stop growing up. We never stop needing help, yet asking for it exposes a vulnerability. Awesome.
It’s normal at various points in our career to question how much more we can take....especially during these difficult, yet important moments in time.
What’s not normal (and should be), is that the systems in which we work often fail at identifying and providing support to prevent our tentative, or even confident decisions to leave. In fact, systematic oppression has resulted for too many, in a felt sense of being invisible and without voice. I digress.
Maybe, just maybe it’s not time to check out, but rather, it’s time to check IN and ask ourselves, “Am I no longer feeling seen, valued and heard? Did I ever in this place?”
What if we lived in a world where we could safely ask for help without the fear of being vulnerable…without the fear of perception that we just aren’t “enough?”
You are enough. You always were.
Nearly all organizations would agree that if they could identify and support every “at risk” employee and provide personalized support in order to prevent attrition, they would.
Perhaps that’s too idealistic.
The provision of individualized support is something people and organizations want to do; and somehow, it just isn’t a strategic imperative. Why? Maybe the value hasn’t been quantified or it's just too challenging to even know how (or where) to begin.
So why do we wait for the Great Pumpkin to come and save us? Let's face it, in some ways, it's just easier to create and believe our own narratives such as, “Things around here won’t change.” Our natural tendency is to externalize blame by creating a distortion that will protect us from our greatest challenge....Ourselves.
There is no Great Pumpkin. (Sorry for the buzzkill.) There is a YOU!
Time to open the hood and take a look inside. Hopefully you haven't been struggling in silence. If so, reveal yourself. Make some noise.
Blue Sky Moment….Let's reframe. You are not a barrier. You are a powerful solution. What if you had unconditional access to someone who heard you? What if this person made important to them what’s important to you with a commitment to help make it better? What is one thing that could change related to your career? The Power of Mentorship.
As our dear friend Mark Twain supposedly said,
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
We don't get what we don't ask for. Create opportunity when none seems available. Tap into the instincts of your inner child and seek a mentor. Be bold and brave. No apologies.
You deserve and will benefit from a nurturing relationship with someone that sees you, listens to understand, relates to you through their own diverse experiences and opens the door to new networks, solely for the purpose of helping you advance to the next level.
That’s the nourishment you received as a child. It’s the nourishment you deserve as an adult. Find that special someone who listens, understands and wants to help you reframe your perceived challenges, simply to guide you towards mastery and goal attainment.
Nothing to lose. Just ask.