A little help, please?

Do what you do best, and delegate the rest.

Recently in a Facebook group I lead, a member posted what was meant to be a funny meme but turned into an interesting discussion on possibly the biggest roadblock to we, as women, face. Here was the question-

Which is the HARDEST for you to say?

  1. I love you
  2. I was wrong
  3. I need help
  4. Worcestershire Sauce
  5. I appreciate you

As the comments started pouring in, there were an astounding number of 3’s.  Like, most of the answers.  Either no one else struggles with Worcestershire Sauce like I do, or we have a real problem here.  Apparently, there are a whole lot of us out there struggling and trying to accomplish everything ourselves for a lot of reasons. I’ll get to that in a second but first I want to tell you about how I learned (the hard way) to delegate.

Picture it- December 22, 2016 (I just said that in my best Sophia from the Golden Girls voice.) BB, my dear husband and I, were off to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary with a flying trip to a town an hour away to grab a bite to eat and purchase all our children’s Christmas gifts. 2016 was an incredibly busy, transformative year for our business and family and I had been too stressed, overworked, and distracted to even start my Christmas shopping yet. At our first stop, I hopped out of the car to move a cart from the parking spot and completely lost control of my body from the waist down. Spontaneous paralysis.

It was as crazy as it sounds and would have made for an excellent episode of the old tv show Mystery Diagnosis . I ended up spending Christmas that year in the Neuro ICU at University Hospital with a lot of time to lay around and think. Also, I watched A Christmas Story on repeat alone in the hospital bed on Christmas Eve and now don’t ever care to watch it again! While I learned a lot from that experience, one of the first things I learned was how to ask for help. In the beginning it was for basic things like help getting a shower or something to eat, but in the long run it was more like help to keep me from getting overrun and overwhelmed with tasks that could be easily and usually joyfully performed by someone else.

The first thing I did when I was able to return to work about 3 weeks later was to write the phrase “Do what you do best, and delegate the rest” at the top of the whiteboard in my office and I have been working to asking for help when I need it ever since.

Ok- back to the group discussion.  As I saw the 3’s pouring in, I commented and asked why asking for help was such a struggle for so many.  Here are some of the answers I got:

                “I feel so helpless when I ask for help.”

                “It’s easier to just do it myself than take the time to explain what needs to be done.”

                “I will die trying to look like I can handle everything myself.”

                “It makes me feel small or incompetent.”

                “I like to pretend I have it all together.”

Now, I want to ask you a question, dear reader.  How do you feel when someone asks you for help?   Do you feel the person requesting help is needy, helpless, incompetent, or ‘less than’ for having the bravery to reach out and ask? No, right?   

Often, when someone asks me for help, I feel honored.  Important.   Privileged.  Dare I say, I even sometimes feel warm and fuzzy in my heart.  Being sincerely asked to help someone makes me feel good, and I’d be willing to bet you sometimes feel the very same thing.  So, here’s where we have to make the connection; being willing to ask for help and knowing how good it feels to be asked.  When you ask for help, you’re doing someone a favor- giving them the honor of helping you.

I still struggle occasionally with my “I can do anything and do it better, faster, easier myself,” but the truth of the matter is delegation has decreased stress, grown my business, strengthened my family life, and kept me out of the hospital for nearly three years now (knock on wood.)

What are you holding on to today that you could release to someone else who is ready and willing to help?

She, confident in her skillset, learned that asking for help did not make her ‘less than’ but helped make others ‘more.’

Can I ask you for a little help, reader? If you like what you see- please share my blog on your social media networks or email them to a friend who may need a boost of confidence. Sharing is caring! Just click the share buttons and away you go! xo, Mindy

24 thoughts on “A little help, please?

  • This was meant for me! I’m so thankful for this new blog to empower women, to let women know that we are not alone in the difficult feats of life! Thank you, Mindy!

    • About asking for help: It is hard for me because (1) I pride myself in doing it all myself, so (2) I feel it is obvious when I need help. Therefore, (3) If one doesn’t help without my asking, I feel they probably don’t want to be bothered. I KNOW this is not reality, but my “feelings.” 🤔

  • I saw this post on fb and admit that I avoided answering the question because I didn’t want to appear “weak”. I’m usually the one with it “all together” and often feel like I can’t not be super woman, while inside I’m silently wishing for someone to recognize that I need help. Right now I need help with something, but don’t want to ask because of fear of being judged by those I should be able to ask because I have witnessed the judgement of others and I’m afraid of being silently judged or spoken about to others by these people.

  • This was a good one! I love helping others and I rarely ask for help myself and it’s usually because I feel like I should handle everything myself. This was a good reminder that it’s ok to need help on occasion..❤️

  • I need help ….why are these words so hard for me ? So much truth to all that you shared. Thanks fir helping me to look at it a different way

  • I struggled with that this year. I was put in a leadership role. I would have rather do it myself than appear to look like I was incapable. Finally someone stepped up to help and I let them…. Best decision ever!!

  • I definitely feel like #3 is me!! I hate to feel like I have to depend on someone else! I know I’m able and capable of doing something and honestly I’d probably get it done quicker but honestly I’m not helping myself because then I’m neglecting everything else around me!! Being able to work in different management positions lately has really allowed me to try and delegate more often that before! But definitely still a challenge

  • Like many, this could always be me. But life keeps teaching you lessons until you learn them, don’t you think? Finally I am somewhere in my life (life changing health issues) where I have finally learned to say yes to all offers and to confident ask for help. And i’m 71…..slow learner I guess! 😊

  • It ironic that so many of us struggle to ask for help. I have always just had to do for myself. I am learning to ask for help. My husband has been a big part of that. I am also trying to pass this lesson on to our son. We just talked about this yesterday. He said,” I didn’t ask because I didn’t think you would help me.” 😞 I reassured him I would help him, if it’s something he can’t do.

  • Asking for help has always been my downfall. I guess it stems from not wanting to look weak or maybe in my head I think I should be able to do everything. Well this past year some really sweet ladies stepped in to help me when I really needed it. I didn’t necessarily ask for it but I learned from this that it’s ok to show my weak side a little. I hope I expressed how thankful I was for them. Because I truly was. I also Learned not everyone is willing to step in when you are in need but the ones that do are true gifts. I’m trying to grow from this experience and to ask for the help.

  • As a pastors wife… people like to think our life is perfect and we have it all together… and that is just not the case . Matter of a fact, right the opposite . We are blessed but some days i just need some help… help to keep walking this walk, help to keep the strength to walk in ministry ( it ain’t easy y’all) …. love this blog… love the transparency!! Nice to know I’m not the only woman needing a boost sometime!!

  • Asking for help can definitely be hard. I feel like helping others makes me feel more comfortable about asking for help in return

  • I am always more of a helping others and hard for me to ask for help myself. I have been in situations where I know I can’t do it on my own. I also still manage to tackle what seems like the impossible: single mother of three active boys (I spent most of Spring & Summer at the baseball field on top of sooo much more.), work full-time(at a job I used to love now hate), full-time online student (6 more classes and will finally have my bachelor degree, but often ask myself why), and my business (my passion that I let just slip away while I am pushing through the chaos). Time for me to delegate! She, confident in asking for help, doesn’t have to do it all herself!

  • I can ask for help sometimes, but for the most part I’d rather do it myself. Thanks for this! It’s a great reminder that someone else could be blessed by helping us out.

  • Very good read! I’m bad about not asking for help. I feel incompetent asking for help but I’m learning!

  • I hate asking for help. Helping me out of consideration is akin to my love language. If I have to ask, I am irritated. I’m so considerate of others, to a fault, that asking defeats it all for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • Oh, Mindy! I think women everywhere need to hear this. We want to control everything in our lives, in our children’s lives, in the life of our family. We can’t do it all, though. We can still be the “driver” without having to move all the parts. Sharing this, my friend. 💕

  • At certain points all apply, depends on the situation. But biggest one for me tends to be asking for help. I tend to internalize my problems and put on a brave face so the world things everything is cool.

  • I needed this. Lately, life has been hitting me hard in a few different ways. I still don’t really like asking for help, but if it’s something my kids need or benefits them in any way, I always ask for help.

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