Getting Comfortable Taking Help
January 6, 2020
I have had many situations where I needed someone’s help or where I had to help some one out. It could be about getting access to a Musical Concert that is sold out, getting introduced to a potential prospect , seeking a job change, writing a recommendation, or even just wanting to have a chat.
Most times, whenever I am asked to help out, I make the effort to do whatever is necessary to help. But there have also been few instances where I have been guilty of saying that I will do something but not following through and actually doing it. These instances have stayed on as regrets.
I have had to take more help than give in the last 1 year since I quit my comfortable corporate job to join a smaller entity(but an infinitely more exciting place!!) in a business development role. I have had to sift through my contact list and reconnect with numerous old friends to seek help as I tried to gain a foothold in my new role.
I went through a whole range of emotions when doing this.
“I am a hypocrite, I have not been in touch with this person for 20 years. We were good friends then but I did not stay in touch. He will wonder why I am calling him after so many years”
“I am selfish, I should have been in touch. Now I am reaching out when I need help”
“We were good friends – I hope she will help out”
What have I learnt through this process when it comes to seeking help?
- Don’t overthink- If you feel someone can help , just go ahead and ask for the help as a matter of fact. Most of us are well intentioned and willing to help. If someone I know reaches out to me of the blue asking for some help, I would be certainly doing so. Why would it be any different if I ask for help.
- Be Direct- Don’t try and be cute about it- “I suddenly remembered the good times we had together, so thought of reconnecting”- wrong approach!!.A better approach would be- “Hey- We have not been in touch. I am reaching out to you for some help. Would love to reconnect.”
- Don’t judge- When you are seeking help from someone you can’t sit in judgement about whether they are helping out or not. It’s great if the person is able to help out. It’s also ok if the person is unable to help out. At least you have connected and engaged.
- Invest in relationships not transactions- An interaction between 2 people based on some form of give and take is a transaction. A relationship in much bigger. It is a personal connection between 2 individuals. Exchanging business cards with someone or getting into a LinkedIn or Facebook connection does not lead to a relationship. For a relationship there needs to be some sort of emotional investment on both sides. Invest in building relationships. It is easier asking for help from people you enjoy a relationship with.
- Be generous- We are generous when we help someone without any expectation. The more I help others, the more I earn the right to seek help when I really require it. I will also feel comfortable. Givers will always be more comfortable taking. Some may call this karma, I call it the law of generosity !!!
It’s been an extraordinary experience for me over the last 1 year. I bow my head in gratitude to all the friends and long lost acquaintances who readily came forward to help me when i reached out to them. They have shown me the the power of generosity and kindness that I need to pass on, when someone reaches out to me for help.