May is mental health month and we know it’s a common fact that women are more anxious and depressed than ever. I was going to cite the research (the lawyer in me) and I decided no. Why? Because we know it’s true! We have professional, family, and societal pressures that are humanly unmanageable. For Women of Color when you add in racism and loneliness at work, it’s even more devastating. But as women, we keep pressing on. We can’t control everything, but one thing we can do more often is ask for help. We must change our mindset in believing we can do everything ourselves and no one else is available to help us and/or others should not be held accountable to do their part.
Let’s break this down further and have a real talk. Undoubtedly for some of us, we feel vulnerable asking for help. I know, I am in that camp, My heart beats fast, I feel weak, less “powerful” and needy. But, I had a few times in my life when I reached the end of my own abilities and had to ask, but by then I am usually in a desperate state. The key is to ask for help when you need it and ask for help often. Don’t wait until you have no choice. Yes, I know what if they say no or ignore you? Well, that will happen (including from friends, known associates, and colleagues) and now you have full awareness of where you stand in that relationship. But, your response to that NO depends on the situation, and either way, it will make you stronger. But, don’t let it stop you from getting the help you need.
What happens when you are intentional and ask for help? You have more control, more power, act with intention, develop stronger relationships, and most importantly less anxiety. Another big bonus, you hold others accountable for doing their part.
Here are 4 scenarios I want you to use these words more often:
- Work-If you want to be promoted and/or developed ask your management. Don’t be afraid of the answer, it will allow you to make better decisions on your career.
- At Home-for chores or other household responsibilities- it empowers and holds others accountable and you teach a valuable lesson on boundaries.
- Yourself- what do you need that you are not giving yourself? More positive affirmation, acceptance, alone time. You know the answer.
- Network- do not assume where your help will come from, most often it is from people you don’t or do not know well. They simply want to help
To turn a corner, you must do this every day until it becomes more comfortable. But do it you must. Now start today. These three words will open up many doors so now let’s say it together- Can you help me?
Asking for other’s guidance helps you see what you may not be able to see. it’s always important to check your ego and ask for help. Ken Blanchard