If you're feeling stuck in any part of your life, chances are you are locked in to two assumptions:
As a coach and HR professional, I've watched careers flame out because people didn't ask for help. They stayed in their bubble, held themselves back and let their skills deteriorate. Eventually they found themselves in a deep hole, exhausted by the prospect of climbing out.
How To Ask For Help
1. Your Armor Works Both Ways
(If you're not reaching out, you're also not letting others reach in. Get comfortable sharing your truth so others (colleagues, bosses, loved ones, your dentist, anyone!) can help spark new opportunities. Many years ago, I told my truth to the very corporate and buttoned up Chief of Staff of my organization.
I said, "HR has been really good to me and I know it's time for me to leave it behind. I want to be certified as a coach and I'm looking a holistic program that embraces mind-spirit-body."
It was frightening to share my "touchy-feely" side with her but my mind was blown when she sent me a link to Coaching for Transformation. It was exactly what I was looking for and it eventually formed the foundation of my coaching career. And now I am on the faculty of that very program!
2. Vulnerability Is Strength
I can't say this any better than Brene Brown does so here's some of her wisdom. How can you be more vulnerable (and courageous) in asking for what you need?
3. Let Yourself Off the Hook
Here in the U.S. and particularly in my hometown of NYC, we drive hard to be self-sufficient and to not need help. We celebrate self-made people like Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates, but they will be the first ones to tell you they didn't do it alone.
In my South Asian culture there's a hierarchy that makes it deeply uncomfortable, even verboten, to ask for help. I grew up in a family where we simply did not share our struggles with others and certainly did not ask for support even when we desperately needed it.
I notice these dynamics operating in me all the time and they are powerful. I have to practice stepping out from behind the armor in service of real strength and the many possibilities that lie in front of me.
What will you ask for today?