April 20, 2021 Fadela Hilali

Why is it hard to ask for help and how to get better at it

hard to ask for help

I celebrated my 36th birthday last week, and while I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude for all the messages I received from my online community (THANK YOU💙), I also stumbled upon an important realisation. 

For seven years, I hid my birthday on Facebook under the pretext that it was personal and that the people closest to me didn’t need a reminder. But then my mind conveniently brought up a couple of memories linked to my birthday.

😤 Like the time I was really upset when my sister threw me a surprise party when I turned 21

⛔️ Or how I systematically declined my friends’ suggestions to plan anything unless it was a regular “Thursday night after work” type dinner.

But why? Did I not like attention? Nope. Did I have some painful association linked to my birthday? Nope.

And then it dawned on me. There was something about being at the receiving end of SO MUCH kindness and being unable to reciprocate or reciprocate at the same level.

You see, I am someone who feels very uncomfortable asking for help. There are times where I don’t have a choice but to ask for help, and even then, my mind is frantically looking for ways to pay it back. 

There were times where I refused spontaneous offers of assistance from my friends because I knew there would be no way of reciprocating.

Paradoxically, I love helping others! It’s one of the ways I express love and affection. That very quality has attracted a lot of takers into my life, but we will leave that for another blog 😉

Looking at this pattern through the lens of a coach, I have to ask:

What happens to our self-worth when we are not in a position to give? Or when our help is no longer needed? Or when we need support for extended periods?

It’s a tough one, even for me…I mean, look at the career I chose! 

If this resonates with you, know that you are not alone. My invitation is to remind yourself, as many times as necessary, that receiving help doesn’t make you less capable or worthy.

It makes you human, a wholehearted human at that. 


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