It’s okay to ask for help!


We all have times when we need help, but hesitate to ask for it.

This happened to me when I wanted to make a change on my blog. I wasn’t certain how to add the specific code I needed.  I didn’t ask for help with my blog management because I thought I could do it on my own, but mostly, because I didn’t want to burden anyone.

In WordPress, this is called punching the BIG ASS MISTAKE button! Instead of getting help, I did it myself…and blew up my blog!

I had to call my blog guru Kathy Henderson-Hurd to ask for help. She dropped what she was working on to fix my problem, and had to completely reconstruct my blog site!

What could have taken her 10 minutes if I’d asked in the beginning, ended up taking hours. Somehow just saying “oops” doesn’t cover this one. And it happened all because I didn’t want to ask for help.

To be fair, making the mistake of not asking for help isn’t uncommon. In the States, we’ve been taught from infancy that needing help is a sign of weakness. We learn to be “independent” and not ask for assistance. I don’t think this is right.

Needing help is perfectly normal. Not asking for it is not normal. Most people want to help; we just have to learn to be more comfortable asking for it.

It’s time to make it okay to ask for help. NO, actually it’s more than okay; it’s healthy to ask for help when we need it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What about you? Is it easy for you to ask for help?

Have you experienced a time when you should have asked for help?

What are your thoughts on how asking for help could be a cultural issue?

There will be no Monday Story Photo Post on May 4th as I will be traveling out of the country. Look for the Monday post on May 11th as there will be a special guest on that day.

31 comments on “It’s okay to ask for help!

  1. Caroline says:

    Great post! I do have a hard time asking for help…but am getting better. I realized that people *gasp* want to help!!! So, actually asking for help is a good thing…you get your answer, service, etc. and the the other person feels empowered. Now that’s what I call a win-win.

    Carolines last blog post..Making a bee line…

    • Sara says:

      @ Caroline — I agree totally with you! People do like to help. This is something I see again and again in the blogging community. It reminds me of the old one room school house where the older students help the younger ones. The hard part is asking…on the other hand, if I was that turtle, I’d be asking quickly:~)

  2. Davina says:

    Hi Sara. This photo reminds me of when my sisters and I had pet turtles. It was pretty hard for them to right themselves again, but eventually they did.

    I love to help other people, but I easily forget to let them help me. This is a good reminder Sara, thank you!

    Davinas last blog post..Positively Breathing — A Series Intro

    • Sara says:

      @ Davina — What a relief…it’s good to know that turtles can right themselves. This little guy looked pretty stuck to me. One thing I know about you is that you DO like to help people! Sometimes I think it is even harder to ask for help if the person used to helping others:~)

      By the way, I am now in Switzerland…looking out at unbelievable mountains still partly covered in snow….AMAZING!

  3. Sara,

    It took me a long time to learn to ask for help. Eventually, I learned how to function well on a team of engineers each with a specific role. I had to ask for help so that I could do my job. After awhile, I realized that asking for help is a sign of maturity.

    Roger | A Content Lifes last blog post..Your Mindful Eating Mission

    • Sara says:

      @ Roger — Great point! Learning how to ask for help IS a sign of maturity. I remember when I was a teenager…tho it’s been quite awhile…and I thought I knew EVERYTHING! My first job taught me otherwise very quickly:~)

      I also agree with you that working on a team almost requires asking for help, which is a good thing. People who don’t ask for help generally aren’t very good team members. Thanks for sharing:~)

  4. Regina says:

    I’m terrible at asking for help. I need help now, but I don’t even know what kind of help I need, or who to ask for it. Bit by bit, I guess…….

    Reginas last blog post..Aspergers Quiz

    • Sara says:

      @ Regina — Is there someone in your life you trust? Generally, that’s a way to start asking for help…talking to a person who you believe will listen to you and help you figure out some options. Don’t be afraid to ask even if you don’t know what kind of help you need. Remember, people really DO want to help!

  5. Me too on used to be feeling like I’d be putting people out if I asked for help.
    These days, I’m not shy at all. But I’ve had to learn the skill. And my blog buds are SUCH great resources on many many topics.

    Did you lose anything on your blog with the B.A. mistake?

    Jannie Funsters last blog post..I Found My Thrill… on Aventine Hill

    • Sara says:

      @ Jannie — I agree about blogging buds! Once I needed some information and asked for it on Twitter…it was astounding how many people, unknown to me, responded! I did not lose anything of importance….but that’s because Kathy is good at what she does. I lost the pictures that accompanied my posts, but I had them saved and just linked back to them again. I was lucky as it could have been much worse! Thanks for asking:~)

  6. I definitely have a hard time asking for help. I love control (NOT a good quality) and I don’t want to give it up. I’m fiercely independent and I want to believe I can do everything on my own so I often hesitate to ask for help. That being said, I do think I know when I absolutely need to ask for it and I don’t feel bad about asking for assistance. I don’t necessarily mind troubling people and I don’t feel as if I couldn’t do something if I have to ask for help. The real problem for me is about being patient. If I were in your same blog situation I would have done the same thing — not because I didn’t want to burden anyone, but because I would have wanted it done IMMEDIATELY. I have a hard time being patient and asking for help usually means waiting… Sounds like I have some work to do in the patience department…

    • Sara says:

      @ Positively Present — Being patient isn’t one of my strengths! Impatience can cause a lot of troubles. I learned this the hard way. On the other hand, it was a very good lesson. When dealing with code, impatience can be deadly as you really do have cross your “ts” and dot your “is!” You can’t just skip steps, like I did. Thanks for sharing:~)

  7. Patricia says:

    Now that I am older asking for help reminds me of that and my weaknesses and I do not ask – I rather regularly delete my google reader and my IT person has stopped fixing it for me….I now try not to push the wrong button…but what to do when someone sends you a program (just happened on facebook) and the thing turned into a virus on my computer and changed so many of my settings?
    It took Geek Girl a long part of her day to add software and fix the problems, then another several hours of running spy ware and malware…I do not know if I can ever learn enough to run my blog by myself.
    I am truly working on not changing anything right now – so if I am looking out of date…just read the words, I know how to do those best!
    Nice post and good reminder for me!

    Patricias last blog post..anniversary

    • Sara says:

      @ Patricia — I am so sorry about the Facebook scam. If it’s any consolation, you weren’t alone. Even people who are very experienced got caught in this one from what I’ve heard. They all said the same thing…everything looked normal…but wasn’t.

      As I am also older…I started on computers when all we had was DOS…I sometimes struggle to keep up with the “latest information.” I often don’t ask because I don’t want to be embarrassed by not knowing. Given what’s happened, I hope I’ve learned that being a bit embarrassed is better than crashing my site…life lessons can be painful at times. Thanks for sharing, Patricia:~)

  8. Asking for help early enough prevents the trouble of becoming “demanding” later on when you’ve spread yourself too thin already and you realize nobody’s helping you when you’re down.

    Jocelyn at I TAKE OFF THE MASKs last blog post..Reclaim Your Dreams

    • Sara says:

      @ Jocelyn — You’re so right. Asking for help is preventive medicine! By refusing to get help, it is so easy to become Oscar the Grouch and then nobody wants to be around the Grouch:~) Thanks for sharing!

  9. Arswino says:

    Hi Sara. I am agree with your thought that it’s okay to ask for help sometimes, but don’t make it a habit, because it will make us weak and spoiled.
    Thanks for sharing your story, Sara.

    • Sara says:

      @ Arswino — I’m not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying if a person is always asking for help, they are weak and spoiled? If so, I’m not sure I totally agree. I agree it can be annoying if a persons constantly asks for help, without ever trying it on their own, but I wouldn’t see this person weak. Instead, I would wonder if they were afraid or uncertain for some reason. Sometimes people have had a bad experience, which makes them hesitant to do something on their own and so they constantly seek help. Maybe this person just needs to take smaller steps. Let me know if I misunderstood your comment:~)

  10. Growing up I never asked for help. Mainly because I had a massive fear of appearing foolish at having to ask for help. Of course, this often ended up with me looking ten times more foolish. Vicious circle.

    Now I don’t hesitate to ask for help. I can’t possibly know how to do everything, nor do I want to. The trick is, however, in knowing whom to ask. You still have to have enough wits about you to realize that perhaps the help you are getting isn’t all that helpful. Then you need to learn the art of backing away politely, so that you can get help from someone better equipped to help.

    Urban Panthers last blog post..Putting it into perspective

    • Sara says:

      @ Urban Panther — You should be proud of the fact that you don’t hesitate to get help! I agree there’s no way to know EVERYTHING! Asking for help is how we learn something. Yet, I also agree that the key is knowing whom to ask for help! I would also add “and when to ask!”

      I’ve made the mistake of asking someone something and when they explained, I didn’t a clue what they said. This is definitely a time to see other help! In my case, I had the person who could help, but I just didn’t ask her. I hope I will not be that foolish again:~)

  11. Al says:

    This is an great post!
    Asking for help is indeed a challenge.
    I agree that asking for help is indeed perceived as a sign of weakness (often more by oneself than by others), and this is the main source of our reluctance to ask.

    Als last blog post..Looking back and saying Thank You

    • Sara says:

      @ Al — I’m pleased you found this post helpful. Hopefully, I have learned the hard way that the real weakness is in NOT seeking help when it’s needed. Thanks so much for sharing your thought:~)

  12. Paisley says:

    Oh my gosh! This was written for me. I’ve just reached a point where I realise I need some help (I am not a blogging god). No, I don’t ask for help easily. I think this trait is linked to not being able to receive with grace (possible pride). Nice to the point writing.

    Paisleys last blog post..Would You Display Your Creative Writing On A Personal Blog?

    • Sara says:

      @ Paisley — I’m glad you found the post helpful. I’ve learned the hard way how important getting help regarding blogging can be. I’ve also found that the blogging community is wonderful about giving help. There are many great sites. One of my favorites is Blogging without a blog. Barbara Swafford always has excellent tips for bloggers…I’ve learned so many things from her posts!

      Also, in answer to the post showing on your comment, Would You Display Your Creative Writing On a Personal Blog…my answer is YES! To me, that’s a big part of blogging…sharing your creativity:~)

  13. I love asking for help. I am a firm believer that two heads are better than one. I recently reached out to a marketing coach and she has done wonders helping me with my marketing approach.

    • Sara says:

      @ Stacey — My issue is that I always think I can figure something out on my own, but you are right. There are definitely times when two heads are better than one, especially when brainstorming ideas! Good luck on your marketing…and, by the way, I love your site:~)

  14. Sara –

    I’ve been so swamped lately, I missed seeing this. What a great post – and thanks for mentioning me. Oh, and yes – I too have a problem asking for help – but after more than a few “if I’d asked for help yesterday, this wouldn’t be the HUGE problem it is today” issues, I’ve learned to recognize when to hoist the white flag.

    Kathy | Virtual Impaxs last blog post..#1 Rule for Social Media Marketing Success…

    • Sara says:

      @ Kathy — No problem. It was important that I mention you as you saved my blog!!!! I suppose you get a lot of those “if onlys.” In your business, asking for help costs a lot less than NOT asking for help…and makes a lot more sense:~)

  15. Yeah, one of the first homework assignments my coach gave me was to ask for support from someone in a project I was working on. While I was doing that, I came to realize I had a fear of “looking like I’m begging.” It seems that asking for help, or even just thinking about doing it, can teach us a lot about ourselves.

    • Sara says:

      @ Chris — It is interesting what we associate with asking for help. It’s such an easy thing to do and yet, we avoid it until we must! I keep returning to what someone said in a comment…that people like to be asked for help. I know this is true because I like to be asked to help. Given this, why would I think other people were so different? I agree just thinking about asking for help teaches us a lot about ourselves. Thanks for sharing:~)

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