The ability to ask for help is one of our strongest, yet most underrated qualities. It shows we want to grow and learn, and that we care about understanding important issues that face us. While some may choose to struggle with problems by themselves, I believe with the right kind of help we can better meet challenges and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Whenever there is a word or concept I don’t understand, I go to its root so I can learn its true meaning. Merriam Webster defines ‘help’ as “to give assistance or support to someone.” When I was in elementary school asking for help was never regarded in a positive light – at least by us children! We thought that by asking for help we would show our classmates we were confused, or didn’t understand the material. Although I have never been particularly shy, I didn’t often raise my hand to speak. I have always been the kind of person who works best individually and prefers to keep their thoughts to themself. This also meant I didn’t reach out for support when confronted by new material, or was moving at a slower pace than my classmates. I wish I had learned sooner that asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but rather of strength.
‘Help’ is a word that is often misunderstood, not because of its meaning, but because of the stigma commonly attached to it. In my experience, asking for help is an action often regarded in a negative light, as something one should shy away from. Many people unconsciously feel that when asking for help we become vulnerable and susceptible to negative judgements.
You shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for help. You should, instead feel proud that you have someone you can trust and go to for security, guidance or opinion. Asking for help can let you discover who are the people in your life you can trust. Developing trusting relationships is crucial to developing self-confidence. You can’t do everything in life by yourself. Some things are meant to be done with others. If we could do everything by ourselves, we would live in a very lonely world without much communication or interaction. Asking for help lets others know you are trying your very best, but also lets them know that you trust them with your problems. In short, asking someone for help is a way to develop or strengthen bonds between people.
From parents and friends, to authors and great monarchs, everyone has had times of need. You are not the first to ask, and you will not be the last. Those who ask for help are not the weak ones, but instead the strong ones. It takes courage to admit you need help. Although it might feel intimidating or even scary to tell your boss you are struggling with your work, it’s worth it! Your boss will appreciate your honesty and will trust you with even more challenging assignments in the future. It is so easy for people to downplay their need for help, but in fact, bosses, teachers, and parents, are all there to guide and support you. It’s their job to make sure you understand what you are doing and feel confident doing it! Asking for help is one of the most natural things a person can do.
Once you feel comfortable asking for help when you need it, you will grow as a person. You’ll gain confidence and experience, and you may just find that one day, you will be able to help someone else.