Have you ever looked at your work plan for the day and been so terrified of what it entails that you instead make a cup of tea, grab the peanut butter and oatcakes and lose yourself for the day on the sofa with Netflicks.
Give me a blog to write, a programme to deliver, an audience of 1000 to speak to, a challenging client to attend to and everything is gravy.
But ask me to reach out to my colleagues, connections and friends for a bit of help and man oh man it’s all over.
I know that asking for help is what we should all be doing. No man is an island and all that jazz, but the fear is just so powerful.
- What if they ignore me?
- What if they say no?
- What if they say yes but secretly hate me?
- What if they talk about me behind my back?
- What if they lose trust in me as a business owner?
- What if they realise I don’t always have my shit together?
You see I have always been fiercely independent.
I’ve always had to be…I haven’t got time to wait for someone to
I know now that I can’t reach the level of success I want without
So…yesterday wasn’t a complete write off.
For a start I wrote down a list of people who could potentially help me with a new business venture I am trying to get off the ground and made a start by contacting the least scary person on the list, my wonderful friend and colleague Pam Burrows – The People Booster who was of course as supportive as I knew she would be.
But it still wasn’t enough for me to tackle the rest of my list.
No I would need something else to boost my confidence.
So I did what I always do in these situations….I took to Facebook.
“Why is asking for help so Damn hard?” I asked.
What followed was a string of comments from 20+ friends and colleagues, people I respect dearly, people who couldn’t help but let me know I am not alone.
A new business colleague Connie said,
Asking for help is hard because your tribe holds you up to a higher standard and now you are fearful they will look at you as weak, not a strong tribe leader.
Ain’t that the truth.
My lovely friend and fellow coach Joanna Hunter said,
I think in society we are taught to accept only perfection, (that is obviously getting better but its deeply ingrained) so to ask for help for some is like admitting your less than perfect, we are so conditioned to not show any vulnerability or flaws in the perfection – it becomes this ego battle with oneself to not ask for the help even though you know you deeply need it.
However one of the greatest acts of self love is to allow yourself to ask for help you need followed by allowing yourself to accept it in
And yet the fear is still there.
People often describe me as fearless, but I 100% am not. I do things which make me appear fearless perhaps, but even those are driven by a powerful underlying fear, which is about not living a life which is insignificant.
So I guess fear doesn’t have to be a bad thing hey?
My fear of being broke and losing my home when I got made redundant prompted me to start a business, my fear of never having a night off as a single mum prompted me to get a babysitter one night a week, my fear of always having to do the dishes (the struggle is real) prompted me to get a cleaner.
So today I faced my fears.
I contacted more than 50 people on my list. I reached out. I asked for help. I offered to jump on phone calls (one step up in the fear ratings) in many cases I was open and honest about my apprehension about asking for the support.
And guess what?
People have started to offer their support and it feels super good.
The next step is to silence the mind monkeys that tell me “I now owe them something” or “what will I need to do in return?”
I realise looking back at those Facebook comments that 90% of them were from women, not sure if that is indicative of a gender difference or just the way it landed.
One of the best comments was from a bloke though, my pal (and flipping incredible photographer) James Burn who said…
Bloody pride that’s what. Stupid ass pride / ego
Couldn’t have said it better.
A massive thank you to everyone who has offered to support me in the launch of my new venture Tribe Builder. I have been growing and building tribes (online and off) for more than 20 years…I know my stuff.
But getting it out to the people who need to see it, in the short window of time I need to make this happen…well I just couldn’t do it alone.
The good news? Inquiries are starting to come through, and I’ve already had 4 women sign up which is awesome…as is the fact I haven’t reached for the peanut butter or the remote control today.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Remember, your tribe is probably bigger than you know, and they are more willing to help than you might expect.
If you are a female business owner who would like to understand more about how to build a community of loyal customers, partners and fans to grow your business, make more money, and ultimately have more impact in this world then get in touch.
Tribe Builder starts on the 4th March…and I am 100% adding a bonus module on effective ways to ask for AND accept help