That’s what they say, isn’t it? And how true it is. Have you ever gotten something you wanted without asking for it?
Maybe. But the chances of it happening again are slim to none.
So why don’t we open our mouths?
I may be a young guy, but I have lived enough to know that, as people, so often we are afraid of what others might think, we are afraid of asking for help, we are just afraid.
Just for conversation’s sake, let’s take me for example.
I am someone who used to be deathly afraid of asking for help.
As a child, I yearned to be an ‘adult’. Because in a child’s eyes, ‘adults’ are independent, they are fearless, and they get things done on their own.
As children, we ask ‘adults’ for help.
We ask for help opening the jar of peanut butter or reaching for something on the top shelf that our still-developing bodies struggle to reach. (Why do I keep putting ‘adults’ in quotations? Keep reading! It’ll make sense, I promise!)
But as time goes on, we grow up – physically that is. All of a sudden we can reach the top shelf, our hands are strong enough to open that jar of peanut butter, and we are given this great sense of independence.
And just like that, we quit asking for help.
But why? Is it because we are just so capable now that we can get through anything without the help of another?
Some might balk at the idea.
“I can handle it.”
“I’ll figure it out.”
These statements are just a couple that we so often murmur. And we don’t really mean it. We say it out of agitation with our situation, agitation with ourselves, and the frustration that we haven’t yet “figured it out.”
What we are REALLY saying when we say these phrases is, “I am too afraid to ask for help, so I will pretend everything is under control despite the fact that I am in need of some sort of support with this issue.”
What happened to that will you harbored as a child? The willingness to admit you need help and that you do not have all the answers.
I will not pretend to be an expert, but I am happy to give you my two cents.
We stuffed it away.
We are afraid of admitting that we are afraid. How ironic…
At one time, we could not open that jar of peanut butter, or reach the top shelf. But we asked for help until we acquired the skills or the ability to do so.
As ‘adults’ we have developed this idea of what we are and what we are not. And we are dead wrong. In fact, I might venture far enough to even say that our idea of what an ‘adult’ is, doesn’t actually exist!
Being an ‘adult’ is not some higher form of human existence that we believe it to be when we are young. ‘Adults’ are just that, HUMAN. And human existence is based on community, working together, collaboration, and yes, sometimes even asking for help.
We fear asking for help at work, in fear of being seen as incapable of completing an assignment due to lack of ability or intelligence. We fear asking for help in our relationships because we do not want to admit we are naïve, to some degree, to the needs of those we love.
And we fear asking for help in our personal lives because we are afraid we will be viewed as someone who doesn’t have our lives together, despite the façade we continue to put out into the world around us.
Have you noticed a pattern? Is there a word that keeps popping up that seems to indicate something significant here?
Life and everything in it can be difficult and it can be scary. And there is a season for fear, for being afraid.
Just like there is a season for happiness, when everything seems to be working out perfectly, running like a well-oiled machine or a brand new high-performance sports car.
Do we deny the season of happiness? LOL.
What kind of fool would do such a thing?
I ask you to contemplate, why do we deny it when we are in that season of fear?
Swallow your pride and ask for that help you keep telling yourself you don’t need. ‘Adults’ do not exist. Add-ults do.
What exactly does that mean? Add-ults.
Add to yourself. Add to your skillset. If knowledge is power and growth, why don’t we continue to add knowledge to our database?
We shouldn’t be afraid of asking for help.
Whether it be on a new endeavor at work, in our personal lives, or our spirituality… Even Jesus asked for help.
So what makes us so capable of not following in his footsteps?
Psalm 107:28-30 says,
“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
And He brought them out of their distress.
He caused the storm to be still,
So that the waves of the sea were hushed.
Then they were glad because they were quiet,
So He guided them to their desired haven.”
Now you may not be someone of faith.
You don’t have to be a follower of Jesus to take a couple of the lessons and apply them to your storm of life.
Ask for help, allow the guidance of a mentor, a friend, the Lord, etc. to guide you to your desired haven.
Be an Add-ult and add to yourself. Don’t live in fear of admitting you don’t have it all figured out because whether those around you admit it or not, not a single one of us has it ALL figured out.
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Samuel H. Martinez