A couple weeks ago, I attended a Zoom holiday party, in which we were asked to "go around the room," introduce ourselves, say what we're working on, and let everyone know what we might need help with. I knew exactly what I needed help with, but for some reason I was afraid to ask, and I made the excuse that it wasn't entertainment related and this was an entertainment industry event. Of the 60-80 people in attendance, I think maybe only 1-2 people actually asked for help. So, when I was asked to help with a friend's annual tea party, I planned a few tea trivia questions, and fun conversational questions. As I put together the conversational questions, I knew the perfect question to close out the event--"What do you need help with?" This annual tea party is always a small group of talented entertainment industry women, and who are better at helping other people than women? Not to mention, we as women, need to support each other. The reactions and responses to this question, in this group, were incredible.
First, it was very clear right away, that many, if not all of us, were uncomfortable with this question. Well, by this time I had already gotten over my discomfort, but that's because I had time to prepare. One woman, as she made her ask even broke down a little, which is not an uncommon reaction when you finally let yourself let go of fear and rejection, and ask for help. I was very moved and inspired by everyone. It's not like we were asking someone we specifically knew has what we need or want. We were just throwing our asks out into the universe to see if they might catch anything. Some asked for advice, some asked for possible connections, some gave us a call to action, and I put myself out there to ask for new client referrals for my copywriting business. The result? Lots of women helping women. Okay, maybe not lots, because there were only 13 of us. Still, that's 13 women helping 13 women.
I've never been very good at asking for help. Before I gave birth to my son, many people told me not to hesitate to ask for help when I needed it, but I didn't follow their advice very much. For me, at least, I never liked asking for help, because I always worry about being a burden on anyone. I think sometimes even self-doubt creeps in and I wonder, "Am I worthy of asking for this?" But I have also learned that if you don't ask, then you won't know, or you won't get the help you need. The worst anyone can say to you is "no," and then you just move on.
So, I'd like to encourage all of you to think about what you need in this moment, big or small, and allow yourself to ask for what you need or want. Often, especially if I've sat on an ask for a while, I find it feels like a small weight has been lifted when I do finally make an ask for something I need or want, regardless of the response.
Do you have trouble asking for help? What do you do when you need help?