A few weeks ago I posted this picture on the At Ease Facebook page.
This truly was a big lesson I took on for myself last year. For some this may sound minor but to me and I believe many others it is something that takes us fully out of our comfort zone.
Why is it so difficult to ask for help, support, guidance or advice?
It is clearly not because we are all so good, smart and tough and always have it together, is it?
For me there are several reasons and it very much depends on the situation I find myself in. I share my thoughts with you and perhaps you recognize yourself in some of them?
Before I go and ask any of this can go through my mind:
- I appear weak
- I appear to not have a clue
- I make myself vulnerable
- I am worried what the others think about me
- I do not want to bother others with my “stuff”
- I can do it myself, do not need anybody
- Do they think I am stupid
- Everybody is so busy I can`t ask
And so it can go on. Throwing all this over board I decided last year to get out there and to dare to ask (more)!
And what a different it made. It opened doors to new possibilities, new connections and friendships. I felt myself getting more confident, stronger. It helped to expand my horizon, I got different points of view and it lead me to be there for others, to help and support!
Having said all this, I still do not find it easy. I am still shaky at times, my finger lingers over the submit button before I dare to press and my stomach feels in knots as I await replies. But it is so worth it!
It is worth it – but now that we took the hurdle to ask we have to deal with the feedback, too. And that is not always easy either!
Hopefully the following thoughts will make it easier to deal with feedback, especially with the tricky ones:
No matter whether or not you like the feedback, pause and consider that the person who replied was kind enough to take time for you! He/she took the time to read about or listen to your issue, to think about it and to give a reply! For this we should already be grateful.
The more people you ask the more opinions you get. This can be good and bad and at times overwhelming. Do not lose yourself here. Do not just follow what others say. Think about all replies and see what fits, what may be a valid different view point and what does not work for you. But make sure you stay true to yourself!
You may not agree and like all the replies. They may appear too direct, harsh or rude, too short, too long, not direct enough and so on. But don`t forget that especially when replies are given in writing things can get lost in typing and language and not come across as wanted. But similar to my first point, keep in mind that the majority of people do reply with a good intention. Some things are simply lost in translation. Do not take it personal!
You do not get as much feedback as you hoped for. Yes it may hurt you but as well here do not take it personal. Everybody is busy, it can slip through, or the person does not feel connected to what you ask and thinks a reply won`t give you any benefit. Again do not think the worst here. Shake it off and rather focus on what you received. And if you really want a reply from somebody specific, send a kind reminder. In the information overflow replies can simply get lost!
Do not just be somebody who only asks and takes feedback! The best way to learn, expand and improve is as well to give feedback, reply and support others. As a rule, try to give more feedback than you take!
Go, dare and ask, you can only gain!