HELP: Not Your Average 4-Letter Word | A Practice in Seeking and Accepting Help

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I consider myself to be pretty independent, taking pride in all that I have because I’ve worked hard for it all.

If you asked those closest to me they would probably tell you that I’m a little too headstrong that way, preferring to do things myself rather than seek help. I never really considered it like this, thinking instead that I am just successfully self-sufficient. However, in the past year or so, I’ve had to soften to the experience of seeking and accepting help. For the first time, I’m learning to lean on others more than really makes me comfortable and rest easy with accepting help.

Thinking that I’ve been doing a good job working with this practice, I was shocked to find major discomfort when I had to ask for help from my boyfriend in a major way. True, we’re moving in together and we have a very solid relationship, so you think that asking for a little assistance would be a no-brainer. However, when it came to having this conversation, my anxiety kicked in big time! My hands were sweaty, my heart was pounding, and my breath was quickened. I started to cry half-way through the conversation even though I knew he would be happy to help me out, without judgment. What I rationally knew to be a safe situation became filled with feelings of judgment, shame, and guilt. Not at the situation, but at myself. In this moment, I realized I was holding a major limiting belief for myself…that I was not a successful or even a good person because I needed someone else’s assistance.

Limiting beliefs are not necessarily a bad thing, but a way in which our small selves act to keep us safe by bringing up feelings of fear. In fact, the more awareness you can bring to situations like this one, the easier it can be to move through them. Once I convinced my small self that it was safe to accept the help, I felt so much lighter. It was liberating for me and I started to think that maybe all this struggle over the past few years has been more difficult because I’ve not been open to accepting the help that is all around me out of fear of getting hurt. What if I started to say yes instead of no and shed the belief that I’m not doing a good job just because I need help every now and then? What if I started accepting help as much as I willing to give help?

In a perfect world I would happily accept the offerings that come my way. But because of certain situations in my past, I’m leery on trusting others intentions. There’s been too many times when I have accepted help only to have it held over my head later. You and I both know that this is not real help, but you never really realize those things until after it’s happened. Now, as I move forward with this awareness, learning to accept help and trust the intentions of others is part of my practice.

What limiting beliefs hold you back from expressing your gratitude for other’s help? Are you okay with accepting help? Do you find it easy to accept help from others?