Years back I read the most fabulous book called The Art Of Asking By Amanda Palmer. Yes she did a Ted Talk. No, you cannot get the same amount from an 18 minute scripted talk as you can on her book.
It completely reframed my ability to ask for help, (although it’s a work in progress!) For whatever reasons, in Western society, we seem to have to fight for recognition, and are taught that knowing for ourselves is simply not enough. We are driven by social media likes, and promotions and praise. And this is doing weird things to us, like reducing our ability to ask for help. Heaven help us if we had to share the recognition I suppose.
I completely relate when Amanda says, “The Fraud Police are the imaginary, terrifying force of ‘real’ grown-ups who you believe – at some subconscious level – are going to come knocking on your door in the middle of the night, saying: We’ve been watching you, and we have evidence that you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU’RE DOING. You stand accused of the crime of completely winging it, you are guilty of making shit up as you go along, you do not actually deserve your job, we are taking everything away and we are TELLING EVERYBODY.” And I wonder if this Imposter Syndrome drives us to furiously work away alone. Because there’s the deep seated dark belief that at least when we do go down, we go down alone, reducing the shame of everyone else we asked to join us on the way.
Gratitude is the path out of this ever repeating shadow. And actually asking for help. It’s got to become a practice. It’s nutty really, as every student I talk to can freely admit that when someone they respect and admire, asks them for help they feel honoured. YET, they do not ask for help themselves. Why are we busy robbing everyone else of the same joy?
“Asking for help with shame says:
You have the power over me.
Asking with condescension says:
I have the power over you.
But asking for help with gratitude says:
We have the power to help each other.”
This week, start trying asking with gratitude, and also feeling into, very finely, your biases and prejudices around this. What we bring into the light can’t stay in shadow.
If you’re already brilliant at asking for help, please carry on, and keep inspiring the rest of us.
Sent with love,