“Sometimes asking for help also means you are helping yourself.”
It is only natural to want to try and handle things on your own, without having to ask for or rely on others for help and assistance. Although, this is something that most of us strive for, it isn’t always possible to do and handle every situation on our own. Sometimes, we must admit that we can’t do it all, we are only human after all. Therefore, we need to ask for help from those around us, those who are in our tribe.
The old adage, that “it takes a village”, is especially true in times of trial, disaster, hardship and grief. It is also true in times of joy, happiness and celebration. For example, when a couple is getting married, they generally will be the recipients of “bridal showers” where they are given gifts for their new home, and starting their life together. The same goes for expectant moms, who have a “baby shower”, where they receive items that will be needed once the baby arrives. Often times, these showers are for friends, family members and neighbors, i.e., their village. In addition to receiving gifts at a shower, expectant mothers may receive meals that are brought into their home, following the birth of their baby.
In times of trial, disaster, hardship and grief, individuals closest to those directly affected and involved, will rally around them, offering support, meals, transportation, a place to stay, or a shoulder to cry on and anything else that they might need. During times of hardship and grief, it is not uncommon to find that fundraising efforts are started as a way to alleviate the financial burden on top of everything else the family is facing.
Even though we all know that we need help from others from time to time, it can still be difficult, if not impossible to ask for help. Why is that? Why is it so difficult to ask for help, when we know that everyone is going to need help at some point in their life? Surely, we aren’t the only ones who’ve faced a hard time and needed to ask for help, and we definitely won’t be the last either. Yet, it can still be difficult to give voice to our struggle and let the world know that we can’t do it alone. Here are a few reasons why I believe it can and is difficult to ask for help from others.
The number one reason, I believe people have a hard time asking for help, regardless of the reasons or circumstances, is fear. Fear of rejection, fear of embarrassment, fear of feeling like a burden to others, fear of talking to other people, or fear of others knowing you can’t do it alone. Ironically enough, some people are even afraid of being successful in asking for and receiving help. Regardless of the reason behind the fear, justified or not, fear is a powerful emotion, that can make it difficult if not impossible to move forward.
Forbes.com published an article in 2016, which listed fourteen different ways in which you can overcome fear. Among the ideas listed, were the following:
· Understanding Your Fear
· Educate yourself
· Visualize Success
· Get Outside Help
· Have a Positive Attitude
Now that we know a little bit about some of the reasons for fear, let’s dive a little deeper into them and learn how we can move past, and turn that fear into action. Before we can move past fear, we must first understand the fear and educate ourselves—what exactly are we afraid of? Why are we afraid of it? Knowing and understanding the fear, allows for us to know how to combat it and overcome it, so that we can ask for the help that we need. Remember that education and knowledge is power, and knowing all that you can about your fear is going to help you—not only with your fear of asking for help, but any fear you might have.
Once you have learned all that you can about your fear and have educated yourself, it is now time to visualize yourself succeeding. Depending on what your fundraising goal is, envision yourself achieving it. If your goal is to help a family member pay their medical bills, or your son’s soccer team making it to a national competition, envision achieving that goal and the joy that you will experience. Envisioning your success can be half the battle, once you can see it, you now have a visual goal to work towards.
Depending on the root cause of your fear, you may need to seek help from others, who can help you to work and overcome your fear. If you have a fear of talking to people, practice what you want to say and rehearse it with someone you know and trust. The more you practice and rehearse what you want to say, the easier it will be for you to talk to others whom you aren’t as close to. This is one of those instances where practice makes perfect!
Most importantly, when it comes to overcoming your fear is to have a positive attitude. This can go hand-in-hand with envisioning your success, as the more positive you are about the outcome, the more likely you are to have success. Not only will having a positive attitude change the way that you think about asking others for help, it will also be apparent in your actions, which others can see. When people see how positive you are despite your circumstances and needing extra help, they may be more inclined to help, just by you being positive!
Wanting to do it on Your Own/ Embarrassment/ Pride
It is natural to want to do things and take care of things in your life, on your own. When you fall on hard times as the result of things both within your control and beyond your control, it can be embarrassing and difficult to ask for help to get through these times. Some people even believe that when they ask others for help, it appears as if they are not in control of their life. Some also believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness, or as being irresponsible.
Nobody wants to be perceived by their friends, neighbors, family members or community as being weak or inadequate to accomplish that which they need help with. As a result, many people will not ask for outside help from others, to eliminate the possibility of being perceived as less than what they are. Although these feelings and emotions are real and should not be ignored, they aren’t necessarily true either. Aside from wanting to do things on our own and not rely on others, pride is a strong emotion that can also hold people back from asking for help.
There have been many instances throughout my life where, I wanted to give off the illusion that I was in control of my life and I knew exactly what I was doing. This wasn’t always true, yet, I let my pride and embarrassment of asking for help get in my way of allowing others to help me, and in turn help themselves. Through these experiences, I have learned that when I allow others to help me, I am helping them in return. Some people need and want to feel needed and valuable, and by letting them help when and how they can, provides them with that validity that they need.
For some, their needs are very apparent, making it impossible for them to deny the fact that they need help, yet still refusing to ask for it or accepting it when offered. In these instances, there isn’t much you can do if they are refusing your help, other than offer and let them know that if they ever change their mind, you’re willing to help.
The best way to overcome feelings of wanting to do it alone, pride and embarrassment is to step outside your comfort zone, and ask for help and accept it when offered. No one person can do everything on their own, there will come a time, in everyone’s life where they are going to need help from someone else, whether they want to admit it or not. In fact, many highly successful people, realize that they can’t do everything on their own. Therefore, they utilize those around them who have different strengths than them, which help to make them successful.
If a highly successful person can admit that they need help, you can too!
Not Knowing Where to Turn for Help
Another big reason why people don’t always ask for help when they might need it, is because they don’t know where to turn for help. This can stem from the previous reasons mentioned above, but it can also stem from previous bad experiences of asking for help and being turned away.
When you need medical help, you know that you need to go and see a doctor. If you need help with getting food, there are food pantries and soup kitchens you can go to. If you need help with finding a job, there are ample resources available online. Some communities even have job services offices, where you can go to get help with interviewing, temporary jobs and resume writing assistance.
But, where do you go if you need help regarding a more personal matter, such as, counseling? Marriage therapy? Financial assistance? It can be harder to open up and ask for help in finding resources or asking for donations, when the issue is personal and private. This lack of knowledge, can create a sense of fear, which can prevent people from asking and seeking for help during these vulnerable and troubling times.
Yet for some others, depending on where they live, the resources and help that they need is not available to them. This is especially true, in under-developed and third-world countries. For these people, they have learned how to take care of themselves, or simply go without, because they have no other choice.
I have been privileged to go to Mexico numerous times, and perform various humanitarian projects. On each of these trips, I am always amazed by the families we help and their stories. A lot of the stories are similar in the fact that they fell on hard times, a family member became ill or disabled and they were no longer able to provide for them or their families. But despite their lack of resources and ability to provide for themselves, they were immensely grateful for our help in providing a home for them to live in, a roof over their head, and for some a source of hot water.
How A Good Cause Can Help
A Good Cause removes a lot of the obstacles that come from the above-mentioned reasons as to why people won’t or don’t ask for help. With these obstacles removed it is easier for those in need of help from others to ask and receive, and for those with the resources and ability to help to offer and lend their help.
As mentioned, fear is a huge reason why a lot of people don’t ask for help. With A Good Cause, individuals don’t have to ask for help in-person. Through the wonderful world of social media and the Internet, those in need of help can put a plea out on the internet with a link back directly to their A Good Cause campaign, where people can donate and help without ever having to speak in-person. Another great feature of doing fundraising and asking for financial help through A Good Cause, is that it also eliminates any awkwardness that might arise from asking someone who is unable to donate and having to say “no” when asked; eliminating the fear of rejection.
When using A Good Cause for fundraising needs, you are still in control of your situation. You have control over the goal amount you want to raise, and you have control over how and where you share your campaign. When creating your campaign, you can choose how much or how little information you want to share, you can decide what images you want to share with your campaign and you can choose if you want to offer the option of recurring donations or not. It is your campaign; you are in control!
In the event of a disaster, tragedy or emergency, knowing where to turn to find financial help to cover the unexpected, financial burden that has been thrust upon you, A Good Cause can help. With the highest payout in the industry, you are truly going to be blessed from the generous donations that you receive through your Good Cause campaign. A Good Cause takes the guesswork out of where to go for help when facing financial obstacles or fundraising needs.
Not only does A Good Cause remove and address the above-mentioned reasons why many people have a hard time asking for help, they also help you to be successful with your fundraising needs. Through social media tutorials teaching you how to promote and share your campaign, to inspirational stories and articles, you will be uplifted and edified when you receive help through A Good Cause.
Next time you are in need of help, financial or otherwise, don’t be afraid to ask for help from those around you and those around the world. Together we can all make this world a better place, lighten the burden of others and show that there are still good things and good people in the world. Break the mold, ask for help when needed and see how blessed your life and the lives of those who help you become.
Author: Ashley Christensen