There comes a time, that while you like to think you can do it all, by yourself, that you start to realise that maybe you need a hand.
Asking for help is a natural thing. It seems it should be the easiest thing in the world to do. But I will push on, putting off a request that will stop the ever rapidly reducing impact on my lifespan that stress and anxiety has, until I am literally falling apart. When the chest pain starts, the tears flow too easily, the self imposed pressure to be perfect thickens the air and breathing becomes difficult…
And then I ask. I ask for help from work colleagues on that team project, I ask for help at home, I call on my friends, read a poignant book and lo and behold I can breathe freely! My chest is not so tight, the air no longer feels thick, I feel balance is restored and my brain functions the way I am used to. I begin telling jokes, bouncing around the house and serenading my love with made up songs. My sense of humour returns and so does my ready smile.
I once read somewhere that there is grace in asking for help. I certainly think so, particularly in contrast to the state you can wind up in while you are holding out. Especially when you are not asking for help because you think you have to be perfect without it. Because you think people will think less of you if you have to ask for clarification, support or input. Especially when what you produce is enriched by the input you receive when asking for help. When your creativity is inspired or your intellect fully engaged by the input from those you asked for help.
Help is not a dirty word. And it should never be perceived as such, not by the most proud perfectionist (read- anxiety ridden perfectionist) or anyone hoping to get by in a happy whole way. Help is how we multiply energy, answer tricky questions, generate passion in the things that we do and share the joy of any process. The H word has now found a happy home in my vocabulary.
“The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe