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Episode 34: How to move past fear and ask for help

Asking for help is vulnerable. What if we open ourselves up for help and no one shows up? Today, let's talk about how to move past fear and ask for help when we need it.


[00:00:01] I'm here for another discussion about why we don't want to ask for help. Today I want to talk about fear and why we don't want to accept help, because we're scared.

[00:00:15] What happens if we open ourselves up for help and no one shows up?

[00:00:21] What happens if we open ourselves up and find that people are just delivering words that turn out to be hollow, and they don't have any intention of following through?

[00:00:35] What happens if we open ourselves up to receive help and it's not actually helpful and it actually makes things worse?

[00:00:46] I think when we put ourselves in a position of asking for help, we're putting ourselves in a very vulnerable position. Because it is easier for us to close ourselves off from other people, because that way they can't disappoint us. It takes a certain amount of trust to be able to open ourselves up and risk getting disappointed.

[00:01:19] It takes bravery to open up and allow people to help us because we are so scared, deep in our souls, we are so scared that no one actually cares about us, and if we open up, we might find that the truth is that that fear is *real.* That we really are not worth anything because nobody cared enough to show up.

[00:01:53] The truth is that you may be disappointed by some people. And that happened to me during my divorce. I was actually shocked by the people that didn't show up for me. And it really did hurt. I lost some friends and it was really difficult. I lost some lifelong friends where I was just like, "wow, I really expected more from that person," but they just sort of faded away and didn't care.

[00:02:29] And it really did hurt, and yet - I would rather know that that person wasn't a good friend. And I think part of that was also about realizing that it's not about me. It is about them and their own stuff, their own inability to show up, their own inability to face hard stuff.

[00:02:59] When I really look back on it, the people that I lost were people that really struggled with hard stuff, people who really struggled with their own emotions, people who didn't do well in the face of difficulty. And their solution was to retreat.

[00:03:21] So in some ways, my fears *were* realized in that some people didn't show up. But also that made room in my life for people who did show up. And they showed up in beautiful ways. They showed up in ways that were incredibly loyal and kind. And I especially saw that with cancer, when I when I decided to share that I was diagnosed with cancer.

[00:03:55] I posted this thing on Facebook and then I immediately went to go take a shower. And when I was in the shower, I was having a major vulnerability hangover. I was like, "oh, my God, why did I do this? Why would anybody care? Like now I look like I'm an attention whore, like, why did I do this?"

[00:04:16] And I thought, "as soon as I get out of the shower, I'm going to go delete that post." Well, I went back and I looked at the post in order to delete it, and the number of people who reached out to me an incredibly genuine way was shocking to me.

[00:04:33] It wasn't even just the number of people that reached out, but it was the people who did. I was like, wow, there's like three people from high school that I haven't talked to in ages who don't post on social media at all. And they're reaching out to me saying, "I had cancer. Here's how I can help you. If you need anything, please let me know, because I have been there."

[00:04:57] Often the people who are truly helpful are the people who have faced some major hardship in some major way, and they haven't shared that with others. But by you sharing it, you're opening up the gate for them to say, "I've been there and I know how I can help you."

[00:05:16] If I had not said anything, I wouldn't have received their advice, which helped me so much.

[00:05:25] It is scary, and it does mean that you have to trust people and you have to accept that some people are not going to show up in the way that you want.

[00:05:37] But you're also opening yourself up for the possibility that there are people you didn't even know who could be amazing, and that some of the people that you do know are more amazing than you ever thought they were.

[00:05:52] I'm not going to tell you what to do, as far as accepting help or sharing what you're going through. That's a completely personal decision, but I do want you to think a little bit about that fear and about whether you want that fear to rule your life. Because looking that monster in the face and understanding what actual reality is - meaning, I can build it up in my head and think like, "I don't have a single soul in my life who is going to support me. I just have a bunch of, like, terrible people. And the people that I think are good, don't really care."

[00:06:36] I can build that up in my head, or I could choose to face that monster. And I could say, "you know what? I'm just going to see." And share what's going on and see if people show up and then, if some people don't show up in the way that you want, at least you know. At least you know, and it's not this like big scary thing in your head that's blocking you from bringing people into your life who are truly good people.

[00:07:06] Because, people, I can tell you from honest experience. There are some really good people out there, and a lot of those people are people who have been through some kind of trauma, some kind of hard thing, and have come out the other side. They may or may not have shared their experience, but they are out there.

[00:07:27] And you will only find them if you are brave enough to be open to it.