A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about stepping out of your comfort zone and diving into some Stretch Zone Adventures (SZA) in regards to taking risks and doing something that feels a little scary.
A powerful SZA that sounds simple, but is actually super challenging, is asking for what you want or need. One of the incredible speakers I saw while at the World Domination Summit last month talked about the power of falling in love with rejection.
Jia Jiang had such a fear of rejection that he went through life avoiding risks and playing small. In an effort to desensitize from the sting, he decided to immerse himself in rejection therapy. He challenged himself to ask for something outrageous every day for 100 days.
From asking a police officer if he could drive his car to asking Jeff Probst (host of Survivor and The Jeff Probst Show) to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” live, on air, to his son, Jia’s rejection therapy was sidetracked when he found that most people said yes!
If people are saying yes to these crazy requests, imagine the support, help, and opportunities you can find by putting yourself out there more. If you tend to be the go-to person for everyone in your life, I’ll bet you don’t ask for help very often. Have you ever thought about why you don’t?
Really think about that question. Do you believe that no one will step up? That it’s just “easier” to do it yourself? Will you feel personally rejected if that person isn’t available to help you? Were you taught to not have needs? Do you believe it won’t get done to your standards? Another thing to consider is that focusing on everyone else’s needs is a pretty effective way of avoiding your own stuff. Any of this ringing true for you?
Regardless of your reason(s), chances are they’re rooted in some sort of fear or run by an old belief. Think of how much your world could open if you decided to challenge that fear. I mean, just look at Jia!
To baby-step into asking for help, practice on low- or no-risk relationships first:
- Ask a clerk in a store where something is located, even if you already know
- Call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate
- Ask your neighbor to water your deck plants while you’re away
- Reschedule lunch with a colleague to a time that’s more convenient for you
- Stop and ask for directions if you’re lost
As you let down your guard more and more, you can move toward practicing the art of asking with those closest to you. While the idea may feel a bit scary, remember, people generally like to help. You know how good it feels. Why assume it wouldn’t feel the same to your friend/mother/brother?
What’s really cool is that asking for help is a great way to deepen these important relationships. I remember, years ago, I opened up to a friend about a tough challenge I was dealing with (for me, who used to never express her needs, this was a scary step) and asked for her support.
To my blocking belief’s surprise, she was receptive and loving. And the kicker? A week or so later, she told me that our chat was the best conversation we had ever had (and we had been friends for years). She said she felt she knew me in a way she never had before and that our friendship had gone to a whole new level.
Huh? By me being needy, our relationship improved? Well, hot damn! That’s the total opposite of what my belief had been telling me my whole life! Yes. Part of really showing up in relationships is asking for help.
Another bonus? Learning to ask for help will also weed out the true friends from the takers. You may find, as you open yourself up, that some relationships start to fade away. These are usually the takers, so it ain’t such a bad thing.
I love this quote that a client recently shared with me:
“The only possible match for people who don’t know how to receive are people who don’t know how to give.” — from The Power of Receiving by Amanda Owen.
Isn’t it time to have some healthy give and take in your relationships?
Finally, when challenging yourself to ask for help more, it’s important to remember that a “no” doesn’t mean that the person doesn’t care about you. Maybe they’re simply not available. Don’t have their response mean more than it does. A “no” to your request for help is not a “no” to you. (click to tweet)
So it’s time to get that support you need. Go for it. After all, you never know unless you ask!