Why I DON'T ask for help... #worldmentalhealthday

Today is world mental health day.

I shared two vulnerable posts on my personal Facebook page in the last couple of days and felt they were worth sharing here as a combined blog post since the space they created for comments to open up off the back of them were beautiful.

We so often read posts about reaching out and asking for help, so this morning I took a moment to reflect on how this shows up for me... why I reach out and why I don't.

I have so many wonderful people around me who I know I can call on for support and often I do. I have no trouble with the principle of asking for help, I'm willing to be vulnerable and don't see it as a sign of weakness BUT often I DON'T ask for help and here's why...

  1. I can't articulate what it is I need. A feeling is often hard to put into words and when I can't do this, sharing jumbled thoughts has often led to jumbled feedback/advice reflected back at me. Or I ask for help for something and later realise that isn't what I needed. It ends up feeling more confusing and messy than if I didn't ask at all.

  2. I don't realise I needed the help until i'm out the other side. Often when in the grip of loneliness, overwhelm or feeling low, I don't recognise it until I am on the upswing to feeling good again, by that point the moment when I needed help the most has passed. It isn't that I wouldn't have reached out, but simply that I didn't recognise I needed to.

  3. I need to work through it on my own. Sometimes I simply have a sense this is something I need to sit with. Not judge, question, work out, fix or analyse or share... just sit with and allow to pass through and catch the lessons learned along the way.

As I reflect further, I notice that in my mind 'helping' is associated with an act of 'doing' something. Yet so often asking for 'help' could simply be asking for space to 'share' or space to 'be' in the company of another.

There is often no 'doing' on the part of the helper. I think this is the part I most need to remember, both as the helper and the one asking for it.

How about you, what stops you from asking for help when you might need it?

courage beach.jpg

This is the post that preceded the one above. This one is super vulnerable and sharing here is throwing up all sorts of fear of judgment that as a coach I should ‘have it all sorted’ (which I do know is ridiculous and totally not true!) I think it also touches a little on why many times I haven’t asked for help… fear of feeling even more confused than I started maybe?

Ok I’m gonna get super honest.

I’ve been in a weird space for much of this year.

Whilst on a technical level my abilities in my work and the passion and clarity behind my message have grown significantly, my self-confidence has taken a major dip seemingly out of nowhere.

It makes no sense, a total contradiction and putting it bluntly it’s screwed with my head! As someone already prone to overthinking, it’s really not helped the situation, ha ha.

I’ve found myself holding back, creating ‘more things’ as a distraction from myself, spending more time on my own and feeling the grip of loneliness on more than a handful of occasions.

I say this not for any kind of sympathy vote, but simply to share openly so that you can see this can affect anyone in any season of life.

From the outside I know I might like I’ve got it ‘all sorted’. On paper my life looks incredible, and I know it totally is... I do work I love, I have great health and I have the total freedom to live and travel whenever and wherever I want...

So why the low confidence? To be honest I have no idea.

So many times I’ve beaten myself up with “how dare I feel this way when I have so much going for me”. But I’m no longer judging it, I’ve stopped questioning it, I’m allowing the feelings and I’m trusting this is all part of the bigger picture of my journey. Acknowledging that out loud feels good.

I went for a walk with my mum along the beach earlier this week. There was a beautifully smooth area of sand calling at me to write on it. This was the word that came to my mind.

I think each and every one of us could do with a little extra courage in some aspect of our lives, to live that bit bigger and bolder, and we all know it only comes from digging deeper within.

I often talk about finding ‘the magic in the messy’ and this year has been a test for sure!

So I’m calling on my courage over these next few weeks as we rapidly head towards the end of the year, to live that little bit bigger and that little bit brighter.

How about you, where could you do with a little extra courage in your own life?

There are less than three months before the end of the year, we are now rolling well into the last quarter of the year, and of the decade- whaaaat!

Take a moment not to reflect on all the things you haven’t done but to ground yourself in the reality that there is still time to take those tiny steps on the way to becoming who you want to be. It takes commitment and courage, and you have both of those things right now. Trust me.

I hadn’t planned to add a link here, but it feels right. If it calls to you, I am hosting a co-working retreat for women working on a personal passion project or business venture and could benefit from the support, technical expertise and safe space of an intimate co-working environment in beautiful sunny Andalusia. Two spaces remain to join me. Full details HERE.