I was recently chatting with a former colleague about asking people for help and she shared with me that one of her mentors was a member of the board. Impressive! What was her secret?

“I just asked,” she told me. This got me thinking about the power of asking. In my experience the vast majority of people are delighted to help if you ask them. And yet we’re just not that good at it…

The struggle with just asking
Why is it that when it comes to getting help we’re simply too afraid to ask? Are we scared of rejection? Looking weak or foolish? Exposing our own lack of resource or knowledge? Or are we just too proud? (or all of the above!)

Brené Brown speaking on the subject of asking for help says “When you cannot accept and ask for help without self-judgment then when you offer other people help you are always doing so with judgment… When you don’t extract worthiness and you think I’m just helping you because one day I’m gonna need help that’s connection. That’s vulnerability.”

With asking comes vulnerability and with vulnerability comes the opportunity to truly connect with others.

If you don’t ask, you don’t get
In an interview in 1994, Steve Jobs said “I’ve never found anyone who’s said no or hung up the phone when I called. I just asked… And that’s what separates, sometimes, the people that do things from the people that just dream about them.”

If you can’t then someone else can or they know someone else who can. By asking, you are giving other people the opportunity to share their knowledge, talent and who they are. You are giving them the opportunity to be generous by lending a helping hand.

Asking is taking action
Want to make something happen that is bigger than just you? Just ask. The simple act of asking is an invitation to bring something to life. When you ask for help you are setting in motion an outcome that will be far better than you could have ever imagined. By creating a community around an idea, cause, or need you infuse it with greater energy, intelligence and movement.

Asking is a strength, not a weakness
Either you can stay stuck where you are and or you can take a big leap and just ask. That can take courage and emotional bravery. Opening yourself up to help is opening a door to growth, creativity, and connection for everyone.

Do you have an experience that you can share of when you “just asked”?

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