Asking for help is a show of strength
the law of receptivity
June 14, 2022, Dina-Marie Weineck
A few weeks ago, I found myself in need of quite a bit of help. Physical and emotional support. An open door, a shoulder, and a cup of tea, so to speak. I was overwhelmed with the generosity and no-questions-asked way my community of friends offered all of these things to me.
It reminded me of the power of community and that I am, in fact, absolutely able and permitted to ask for help…and be open to receiving it.
We live in a world that celebrates individualism over community. A world where saying “I need help” and “I don’t know” have been given the connotation of bad, weak, and inferior. In a world, that has become quit-pro-quo from the way business deals are handled right down to some family dynamics.
Submitting yourself to that world and trying to make it all by yourself is unhealthy, lonely, and suffocating.
Shocker: We can’t make it alone. None of us can. And I say this as someone who travels the world alone and runs her own business – I thrive living out my own individualism. If, however, vagabonding has shown me one thing, it is this:
The support of community and asking for help are synonymous with being individualistic. And the giving soul, if willing, shall receive.
And this is where we get it wrong so often:
We assign strength and superiority to those that “make it on their own,” those that “pull themselves up on their bootstraps,” not recognizing that there typically is a whole community that supports the individual.
Maybe not those we traditionally think of as supporters, such as guardians and teachers. But friends, mentors, investors, partners, strangers that hold a door open, those that close one on you, and those you meet on a plane.
Asking for help is both a skill and a tool.
And it takes courage to ask for help. It often feels vulnerable. It can feel weak. And yes, it can feel like you’ve just failed.
But that’s only a feeling. And we know that feelings are created by the thoughts we keep around.
If asking for help feels weak and like a failure, examine your thoughts:
Are you having a belief that asking for help will lead others to judge you as a failure?
Have you, as a child, been praised for “doing such a great job all by yourself”?
Are you determined to make it alone and prove to someone that you don’t need anybody’s help?
If this is the context for your life, then yes, asking for help will feel weak.
You get what you give…but with a twist.
See, I personally happen to hold the belief that the more you give, the more you receive in return. HOWEVER, this is not a quit-pro-quo kind of thing. Quite the opposite.
Bob Burgh, in his book, the Go-Giver, puts down 5 laws of stratospheric success, one of them being the Law of Receptivity: “The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.” He further submits that “you and me [have] permission to receive.”
Notice, what he is not saying: He does NOT say, those whom you give to, you shall receive from. He is more general:
You give carbon dioxide to nature and, in return, you receive oxygen…from life. You don’t give to one specific plant or tree and nor do you receive oxygen from one specific plant you’ve previously donated carbon-dioxide to. You give expansively and receive from everywhere around you. The more you breathe out (exhale), the more you can receive in return (inhale).
It is the same in life:
The best leaders are incredibly giving people who learn to ask for what they need and learn to gracefully receive what they’re given.
Now, quit-pro-quo, on the other hand, is a situation wherein one person feels entitled to receive from you simply because they’ve given to you. Unless I am sitting in the hair salon receiving a new haircut and hair dye where I owe the salon some couple hundred dollars (literally happening as I’m typing this), I don’t owe anyone anything. And neither do you:
You don’t owe your parents anything just because they’ve raised you.
You don’t owe your best friend a thing just because they’ve listened to you the other day.
You don’t owe the person who let you pass on the highway to hook them up to your car.
You don’t owe your boss more of your time just because they’ve granted you a raise.
Neither are you entitled to receive just from those you’ve given to directly.
The Law of Receptivity works much more generously; suggesting you BE receptive and don’t DO work that might lead to favors in return. You’re giving full stop. You’re receiving full stop.
Those of us that are being giving, generous, caring, supportive, loving, and joyous, will, through the ways of life or the Universe, receive…you just have to ask for it.
See, how asking for help, in that new context, can be one of the most powerful and empowering thing to do?
What is something you would like to ask for? What do you need help with? Send a message asking for help right now.
Supporting and supported,