The Five Myths of Asking for Help

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The Five Myths of Asking for Help

or… “Why asking for help is so damn hard.”

Seven. That is the number of times the subject of ASKING FOR HELP has come up in the past 48 hours. Clients/friends/social media – it’s everywhere. Um…is something in the water, guys?

Asking for help can be hard. It can feel awkward and risky to put yourself out there. I know I sometimes try to fool myself that I don’t need help when I’m struggling; and I am definitely guilty of waiting far too long to reach out! Why do we have such a hard time asking for help?

Here are 5 myths that keep us from putting our self first and getting help when we need it. Recognize any?


Myth 1: Asking for help is weak.

I beg to differ. Do you know how much courage it takes to reach out when you are struggling? It takes strength and humility to say, “I can’t do it all.” When we ask for help we get a chance to practice being vulnerable. It can be scary, but asking for help is brave.

Break the myth… by stepping in to the discomfort. It’s okay to be scared and brave at the same time.


Myth 2: What I’m dealing with is not that big of a deal.

This is a lie we love to tell ourselves. Struggle is struggle. It’s hard not to compare. This week my favorite dance studio closed and I was bummed out. Shortly after, I was telling a friend about it. He empathetically responded, “that must be tough.” My immediate response was “sure, but others had been going there longer and lost more.” By comparing my experience I minimized my own feelings. How often do you tell yourself who am I to ask for help when others have bigger problems?

Break the myth… by letting go of comparison. Remember, you are worth being helped out.


Myth 3: If I were _____ enough I wouldn’t have to ask for help.

Fill in that blank with: perfect, smart, successful, enough, etc.

If I can’t do it on my own I have failed. Here comes the perfectionist thinking and the shame messages. People need each other. There are some things we just can’t do on our own, and that’s awesome. It means that we need other people.

Break the myth… by loving yourself. Repeat after me — I am enough.


Myth 4: No one cares.

This one breaks my heart. People care. Humans are hardwired to seek connection. If you don’t have a support network or don’t feel safe asking those around you for help, there are millions of helping professionals from: suicide hotline operators to clergy to therapists and coaches to first responders and medical professionals.

Break the myth… by writing down five different people or organizations that you could ask for help. Keep it near by to use when you are in need.


Myth 5: I prefer to help others, so I don’t need help

I get it. I grew up as a classic rescuer. Got a problem? Sure, I’ll help! It can be uncomfortable for those of us who like to help others to switch sides and to receive help and be the person in need of support. If you struggle with self-esteem asking for help can feel like shining a huge spotlight on yourself, asking for unwanted attention. When asking for help, be clear with your boundaries. Let others know how specifically they can help you.

Break the myth… by letting go of the illusion of control. Allow others to help you, even if it feels uncomfortable.


Asking for help can be an amazing experience. By asking for help we can take care of ourselves and we can get done what we couldn’t do alone.

What struggles have you faced in asking for help? What positive experiences have you had out of asking for help? Share in the comments below!

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Showing 3 comments

  • Regina

    How true that we think all these things about ourselves. My favorite one to tell myself is “what I’m dealing with is not that big of a deal.” When I compare my current struggle in life, whatever it may be, I usually compare it to someone who has a terminal disease or is missing their legs. That quickly teaches me my lesson about needing help. But the truth is that I love it when people are willing to ask me for my help, so why not honor them in the same way and let them into my current struggle. Now I try to think of asking for help as showing the other person my appreciation of their strengths and abilities. I am currently struggling with figuring out how to get back into the business world in a full-time job. It’s scary from where I’m standing, so I’ve started asking for help.

  • Jaimee

    Wonderful blog and so true!!! Thank you Katie!!

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