How often do you ask for help? I am not just talking about asking for directions. I am speaking about asking for help with something that has meaning to you. When is the last time you asked a man or a woman to go out of their way to help you?
I am learning to ask and to receive help. It became apparent if the book I am writing was to be a success, I needed help. I began to see that producing a book is like raising a child – it is a community affair. Particularly with the publishing industry going the way of the music and film industry because a publisher wants you to have an audience before they give you a book contract. I realized that meant I needed to get others to help network my ideas and then the book.
Going from giving to asking
That meant I needed to ask for help! I quickly realized that giving help was much easier than asking. I put myself in a position where I had no alternative, I had to ask. I hired the experts to help, but I still needed to create a community.
I might ask for directions, but asking for someone to put energy into helping me often without knowing me was a push. My mind went to, what will they get out it? Who would want to help a stranger write and promote a book? Then in the silence came an answer – men and women like you who like contributing. I felt tears well up in my eyes. I felt the emotion I feel when I see someone perform an act of greatness. Wow, maybe I would be giving others an opportunity to make a difference through helping me.
Creating a community of support, going from asking to receiving
I began to feel I could have a whole community behind me, championing my blog and book. I have often said I want to stop fighting against things and start fighting for something of value. I saw that I had my ‘warrior of the light’ cause. Quickly, I felt the responsibility to complete my task to the best of my ability. Others are counting on me. Others have invested in me and my project. Then I was up against an old principle of mine – don’t fuck up.
I had to get honest. I could take myself out by not receiving what I was asking for. I know what you are thinking. How hard can it be to receive what you asked for? If you are like me in any way, it can be the most difficult part.
Going beyond the male paradigm of not asking and not receiving
I know for many men we would rather give than receive. In 35 years of private practice I continually see men put off what they need for what their family wants. In one of my projects in Scottsdale, AZ, I had a business partner that moved to Scottsdale after selling several of his dental clinics in the N.Y.C. area. Paul spoke about how men would have critical dental conditions and not come in for treatment, while making sure all his kids had braces.
A recent study done in Canada showed that men access healthcare less than women. As men, we tend not ask for help even when we really need it. We make excuses that others need it more, I can do it by myself, or I am not worth it. Because of my experience with holistic health I learned to get help with my health. In my arrogance I felt I was not like other men – well I am. I am learning I can find other people to help while asking and receiving help for myself.
In keeping with another principle of mine, not asking a man to do something that I haven’t or would do, I commit to making one request for help per day for a month. So, here is my request for help today – would you share this blog with a friend?
Now that I asked, I feel stronger. I challenge you to match my commitment. You can start small. It might be asking for help lifting something. Keep it up… do it for a month – one request per day. I will do it and report back to you. You can do it and report back also. Let’s break that male pattern of not asking and not receiving. Are you in?
Oh, no cheating. You can’t ask for help 30 times on the last day of the month.
Give us you commitments and your results in the comments below. Go for it!