Kym here. I am horrible at asking anyone for help. I was the go-to person for everyone to ask ME for help, but I’m not good at asking in return. I don’t think I’m unusual for a woman who was raised in the 60s. The 60s might have been a time of being free, but the old 50s model of being a helper-nurturer was still being taught to girls by their parents, added in the people-pleaser gene. I was conditioned to be a dream-maker for others dreams and not myself.
But I had to change. This life motto was not working for me. I wasn’t happy with my life. Changing my mindset didn’t happen overnight. I had to go cold turkey on being overly helpful to others and started to help myself instead. I started to put ME FIRST. Then, and only then, if I had the time; could I help others. This behavior change lost me a few friends and even caused issues in my family because I quit helping them with all their little projects.
Real strides meant I had to overcome my dream-maker attitude for others and instead make my own dreams come true.
It was huge step in my recovery from my old helper mind set. I was going to take the reins to making my dreams of authorship come true. I saw my growth when I asked a friend to partner with me in writing a book. We committed to finish the first manuscript with a dream of an entire series.
The most powerful hour of my life was mapping out our path to publication. Our main focus was to produce the best book we could. And we did it. We did it all; for every deadline we set, we usually beat it by a few days.
My first asking paid off with the partnership with my co-writer, now I upped the ante, I needed a big Ask. As we were laying out the front pages of the book; introduction, table of contents, and such, we came to the foreword section of the book. (Not all books need or require a foreword, so it was optional.)
We discussed what a foreword could do for our book and compiled a shortlist of people who would be a dream to have write it. Short list here means two people, both successful men in their own right. Both were published authors of multiple books, both were responsible heads of an internationally active company, and both, we told ourselves, would be completely unattainable. I cautioned us both not to focus on why would they want to do this for us, we were only allowed to validate why we would want them!
Now, to understand the dilemma we were facing. Not only did I have this asking phobia, but Beverly, my partner, also had it in spades! A compounded issue we were ready to face together!
I have to give all the credit in the world to Beverly for saying, “I’ll put my name on the letter to one of the guys.” She had better name recognition than I did with our top choice person. I said, “Ok, I’m all in, what’s the worse that could happen? He could say no.”
Drum roll please….
HE DID RESPOND! He said yes! But our resolve was tested by his initial reply, he offered a simple testimonial, but we wanted a short foreword. In his next response, he generously said he would do as we requested!
One simple act of Asking has changed both of us. Asking for help is a powerful tool in our lives. This post is to say plainly, think your request through and – ASK FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT. The right person will share your vision and respond in the affirmative.
Do you have a story of when you Asked for help? Please share, we all need to keep sharpening that tool in our tool box.