Where does your aversion to asking for help stem from?

Reach out your arm

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If our greatest asset is the willingness to acknowledge what isn’t working, then our greatest action is to seek help, in whatever necessary form, to keep moving the story forward.

Regardless of how uncomfortable it might be to hold out our hands and receive it, regardless how stubborn we are about succeeding on our own steam without help, and regardless of how secure self reliance seems when the only person we have to count on is ourselves.

Columbia conducted the most widely cited study about asking for help. Their social psychologists found that people generally underestimate the likelihood of compliance in making a direct request for help, in part, because they fail to fully appreciate that although it is difficult for help seekers to risk rejection, it is also difficult for potential helpers to offer rejection.

Think about the last time you had to ask for significant help.

When mentally attempting to predict how successful you might be in soliciting it, did you underestimate yourself? Did the melodramatic movie playing inside your head accurately portray people’s response in your time of need?

Of course it did. And that’s the beauty of the process. As terrifying as it is to pick up the phone and admit our vulnerability and let people know that we’re struggling, we’re usually pleasantly surprised at the speed and readiness and generosity of their response.

People are much more willing to help than we think. They don’t want to be the rejecter any more than we want to be rejected.

And so, in your next time of need, practice effectively asserting your own desires. Send out a smoke signal, believe in your worthiness to receive it, believe in other people’s desire to deliver it, and stay present for all the steps that come after.

Because you’re just about to strike oil.

The ground will begin rumbling once you extend your arm.

Where does your aversion to asking for help stem from?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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