While we like to think we have it all together, let’s get real for a minute, we don’t.
The only thing that is really constant in our lives is that the world is always spinning. Things change daily, the outcomes we expected don’t always happen, and sometimes we get extremely overwhelmed. It happens to everyone.
But the most important way to handle the changes in our everyday lives and to still have the lifestyle we want is to ask for help. As hard as it may be, asking for help is crucial to keeping our stress levels down low, getting to use our time how we want to, and still keeping ourselves together. Keep in mind, none of us are self-made.
Time and again we are asked to help people get better control of their daily lives, whether it is handling regular tasks they don’t have time for or just coming into their home to handle projects that overwhelm them. Ideally, this would go smoothly, and people would just celebrate their newly acquired time and organized home. The reality is, sometimes people struggle with letting us help them. But why is it such a struggle to ask and let someone do the things that stress them out?
Why people are afraid to ask for help
Does it make me weak if I ask for help?
The answer is, no.
It is easy to ask yourself why someone would rather stay in a stressful and overwhelmed state instead of asking for assistance, but the answer isn’t that simple. Asking for help seems to depend on the situation. Most people can easily ask for a family member to help them with something around the house, but it isn’t as easy to ask a co-worker or even a stranger for something similar. Why is that?
Asking for help requires a person to be vulnerable, and odds are they are scared that asking will make them look weak or that they will be rejected. The good news is, asking for help doesn’t make you look weak and hearing a no isn’t the end of the world.
One of the most important things to know about asking for help is that it doesn’t mean you aren’t capable of completing the task yourself. Instead, it means that you are using your resources to get the task done quickly and to the best of your ability.
Hearing “no” doesn’t mean that people you asked for help think less of you or that they don’t want to help you. We have somehow turned rejection into a reflection of ourselves, but that isn’t the case. Odds are if you are told no, the person or people you asked for help want to help, they just aren’t able to.
How to ask for help
We all struggle with it, but asking for help is vital to a healthy lifestyle.
We shouldn’t be fearful of asking for assistance for something we cannot or don’t have time to do. To put it in perspective, if your air conditioner quits working during the summer, you probably won’t get out there and try to change the capacitor. Instead, you will rinse off the unit and hope that it is just not getting enough airflow. When that doesn’t work, you will contact a professional to diagnose the problem and repair it. Why does asking your personal assistant to grocery shop or take your pet to the vet have to be any different than calling the repairman?
If you aren’t sure how to ask for help, here are some simple ways to get you started:
Change your mindset. When you ask for help, you can’t beat yourself up over it. You can’t tell yourself that you can’t do it or that people will think you are weak. Turn it into a positive. Tell yourself that you are asking for help so that you can have more time for things that matter, like your family.
Make it easy to help you. When asking for help, make sure you ask the appropriate person. If you have a LifeSquire personal assistant, you can ask them to shop for you, but asking them to stain your concrete is probably more appropriate for a handyman. Make sure you ask people that have the ability to complete the task so that you set yourself up for success instead of failure.
Be direct. Proper communication is key to success when it comes to asking for help. Dropping hints may be easier, but you can’t expect to get the help you need. Instead, communicate clearly what you need to be done, any important information needed to complete the task, and when you want it to be completed.
Practice makes perfect. The best way to get used to asking for help is to actually do it. If you find it intimidating, make a list of the things you could need help with and put into practice asking for it. Start slow if you need to.
Why people are afraid to give up control
The act of being controlling often comes from fear. But what is there to be scared of? People that have trouble giving up control often have anxiety that if they do not manage certain events, then something bad will happen in the future or the outcome will not be beneficial to them. They feel the only way to be successful in said event or task is to handle it themselves.
Inability to give up control isn’t healthy. People that aren’t comfortable with trusting others to handle tasks or projects are often extremely stressed and very anxious. They spend a lot of time and energy planning, predicting, and preventing outcomes that are different than they originally planned. Unfortunately, the universe isn’t always predictable, and those planned outcomes don’t come with a guarantee.
Giving up control doesn’t just exist in the workplace. For example, LifeSquire personal assistants will wash and fold your laundry. It is perfectly okay to let your assistant know which clothing shouldn’t be put into the dryer or if it needs special care, but telling them not to do any washing because that one article may get handled incorrectly puts more stress on you. There is a lot of trust required to give up control, but it is important to try even if it is slowly. Once you see each task getting completed to your satisfaction, it will get easier and easier.
How to give up control
If the universe is fickle, and no matter how much you plan the outcome is still unpredictable, it only makes sense that we should give up control. This world is stressful enough without having to manage every detail in our lives. But how do you start giving up something you have done all of your life? Here are some simple ways to get started:
Start with simple tasks. You can’t just hand over every task and think you will be able to handle not doing them yourself. Instead, pick something simple to give up. For example, have your assistant go to the grocery store for you and trust them to clean out the expired items in your fridge.
Build trust. Trust doesn’t come right away, but when you have the people in your life help you more and more and you see that those tasks you managed before still get done and the world doesn’t stop, you’ll trust them to do more.
Imagine the worst-case scenario. When you start to let others handle tasks for you, imagine the worst-case scenario. If you let someone grocery shop for you, what is the worst thing that could happen? They forget your favorite yogurt?
Stop doing it yourself. In an ideal world, every task will get done exactly as you would do it, but we are all human and we all make mistakes. If your assistant makes a mistake, don’t just correct it yourself. Instead, let your assistant know what happened and give them a chance to make it right.
Communication is key. If you find yourself stressed about a particular task, don’t just tell your assistant to forget it. Instead, communicate, communicate, communicate. Let your assistant know the importance of the task and have them provide you with regular updates. Also, make sure you clearly communicate any important information they need while working on the task.
Practice mindfulness. Work on being present in the world. Work on focusing on the now and not what may or may not happen in the future. The reality is, we cannot control every situation, and recognizing that will help you in this process. Consider meditating if you start to feel anxious about a task. Eventually, you will realize that it is okay to not control everything.
If you need help with the projects and tasks that are keeping you away from doing the things you love, you may need a LifeSquire. Learn more about our personal assistant service by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post written by Deaven Cavnar, Content Marketing Manager