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Jacky Sherman

The Consultant's Consultant

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Myth Busting: Asking For Help Makes You Vulnerable

Turn those thoughts on their head ...


Posted by Jacky Sherman on 20/10/2021 @ 8:00AM

''I give and give and give, but little comes back to me''. I hear this all the time from people who join networking groups. My next question of ''Have you asked?'' is usually followed by an uncomfortable silence ...

Let's do some myth busting. Asking for help doesn't have to make us vulnerable!

Let's do some myth busting. Asking for help doesn't have to make us vulnerable!


Now, there can be many reasons why others are not reciprocating, but here I want to focus on just one because it's very common. A lot of people just don't like asking for help.

"Here's an interesting observation from
a conversation with a client!"

He wasn't asking people for help with introductions, but was still expecting to get them. Somehow, his contacts were supposed to know that he was relying on them to refer him. It let him off the hook with asking.

When you dig deeper into what stops people from seeking help, the reason is often that it makes them feel vulnerable. What if the person you ask says no or just doesn't respond? The reality is that in business and life you are vulnerable to people saying no.

They do it all the time, you just don't know it. You are vulnerable to people taking advantage of you. There are people out there who feed off other people. Isn't that all the more reason to surround yourself with people who support you, who you can rely on, who can help?

In order to do this, maybe it's time to replace those 'back of the brain' thoughts that make you feel vulnerable rather than supported.

A good trick is to turn those thoughts on their head:

  • "I'm being a burden, she's too busy to help me" becomes, "It's a gift as she'll feel flattered that I turned to her"

    Some checkpoints to reassure you: firstly, get to know her so you know she is a giver. Then be specific and realistic about the help you're asking for. In other words, make it easy for her to identify if she can help or not. "Can you introduce me to your accountant?" rather than "I want to meet anyone who wants a ......"

  • "I'll feel beholden" becomes, "We are equals"

    I started this blog post with "I give, I give, I give". If you've been giving you may be making the other person feel beholden, so allow them to reciprocate. If you haven't then expand your response to "Thank you, and what can I do for you in return?"

  • "I'll feel rejected if they say no" becomes, "Do I want to work with you?"

    Firstly separate the issue from your request. They may not be able to help with this issue. The reality is, most people will try to help if what you've asked is within their power.

    The alternative reality is that some people will not help even though they could. Take control, either work on strengthening your relationship with that person before asking again, or make a decision that you picked the wrong person and look for someone else.

    If your fear of rejection is very strong, then the first step is to face up to it and seek professional help. Oh dear, another person you have to ask for help, another opportunity to be rejected.

    Try this thought: This person has chosen to work by helping others, and you will be paying for their professional guidance. The risk of rejection is very low. How about asking people you know to recommend a good life coach, hypnotherapist or counsellor or, if that makes you feel vulnerable, then look online.

  • "I'll look incompetent and weak" becomes, "I'm well connected and strong"

    Real strength comes from knowing what and who you don't know and choosing the right people to go to fill the gaps. The chances are, if you're reading this, you are in business and will know lots of people who have a deeper body of knowledge and skills on certain subjects than you have.

    They will know people that you don't know. In business and in life we are all vulnerable, our strength comes from tapping into the vast resource that is 'other people' and the only way to do that is to ask for help.

Until next time ...



Would you like to know more?

If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 07970 638857. Let's have an initial chat over a coffee and see how I can help you.

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