Ask for Help Before You Burnout

If you have a tendency to put the needs of others before yourself, even when you are already running on empty, then it is likely that you find it equally difficult to ask for help.

It is incredibly important to balance giving with receiving in order to prevent burnout. Help can come from those we are closest to, like our friends, partners and family members as well as those we work with – and even from strangers.

 Smart steps to ask for more help

1. Start small – Ask for help with something small that you would usually have struggled with on your own today. For example, ask your partner to wash up after your evening meal this evening, ask a strong-looking stranger on a bus to help you lift your case onto the luggage rack, pay for a taxi home from the station instead of pushing yourself to walk back in the pouring rain. Remember changing things, even the smallest things, is worth it. You are worth it. All the small things you ask for help with will combine to have a cumulative effect! And, they will empower you to ask for even bigger help.

2. Shift from surviving to thriving – If you notice yourself resenting other people who seem to achieve things with grace and ease and find yourself getting caught up in the drama of your struggle (and those of others) take a step back, breathe and rescue yourself. Staying in the struggle only creates more struggle. When someone asks you ‘How are things going?’ and you respond ‘Surviving!’ – you are caught in your struggle. Step back from it and remind yourself that you are in charge of whether or not you struggle. You have a choice: Continue surviving? OR commit to thriving!

3. Avoid busy, busy, busy – When you’re just about to ask for help and a little voice in your head says ‘no one can do it better than you’ or ‘in the time it takes to explain this to someone else I could do it myself’ – take a deep breath and notice that you are stepping back into old patterns of doing too much. There are plenty people who can and will do things just as good as you.

The first time you explain things before handing over the reins it may feel like it will take you longer than it would to just do it yourself. Actually, it is a wisely spent time investment though, because once you have shown them the ropes, they will not need you to explain it to them again.

Plus you are freeing up more time to do more of the things you love – increasing your overall happiness levels, which will have a positive impact on everyone around you.

4. Build bigger – Once you have experienced success at letting go of struggling with some of the little things, challenge yourself to gradually ask for more and more help. Keep building on the amount of help you reach out for, little by little, step by step.

5. Accept compliments graciously - When someone says well done or that you look great, do not discount them. Reply ‘thank you’ – really reflect back that you have heard them.

Obtaining consistent support is crucial to sustaining your success. As our society has started to move away from the close-knit communities we used to live in, many people, especially city dwellers, can find themselves with very little or no locally based support. Joining associations in your community or regional interest-based groups can be a wonderful way of expanding your support network, even if just for exploring new ideas and inspiration.


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