Attitude 4: Help Makes Us Stronger
Being human can be difficult. We have these things called thoughts and emotions that influence our well-being and our physical and mental health.
There is still a common belief that people need to be strong and independent and not to rely on others. I was a massive believer of this when I was younger. I always thought the only way to gain people’s respect was to be a tower of strength and being able to cope with life’s challenges. I believed it was weak to seek help from people.
If you’re like me, you may have had a past or current history of mental health issues. I was suffering a mental illness that I knew absolutely nothing about, yet I believed I could deal with it myself. I knew better than any professional. It couldn’t have been further from the truth.
We all have our own different strengths and weaknesses and no amount of bluffing and bravado can make up for the fact that we don’t know everything.
The closer you are to a problem or issue the more you are entangled in the intricacies and the less likely you’ll be able to see the bigger picture.
By taking the courageous step and seeking help makes us stronger. Problems or issues can be shared with people who have a different perspective and who are not blinded by the emotional circumstances of being directly involved. Everybody always feels better after talking over things with a friend.
Seeking help though takes a lot of guts and a willingness to allow other people into your personal life. It can be very daunting. We have to overcome the fear of becoming vulnerable by opening up about our lives and admitting that we need assistance.
After my accident, there are so many things that I could no longer do physically - from the obvious like getting up and walking to the not so obvious as being unable to immediately comfort my young son when he fell over.
These are hurtful and heartbreaking, but I am unable to physically bluff my way through situations like this. I’ve had to face the fact that I can’t be a pillar of strength. I’ve had to reach out for help.
I have got wonderful neighbours and we’ve come to live in a way that involves helping each other overcome our different weaknesses. My neighbour is a handy bloke around the house but is hopeless with technology, whereas I’m the opposite.
By seeking out each other’s help and working together we’ve made each other much stronger.
For example, I helped him write a resume for a new job he got, and now he is under less stress and enjoying life more. It’s made him stronger asking for my help. The same for me. I can’t run around and kick a football when my young son wants to play. My neighbour helps me out with these sorts of things but in a way, which includes me as well. It makes me stronger, it makes my family stronger, but without opening up and asking for help we would not be in that position.
Generally, I have found that if I take the initial step and became the person who first asks for help it then gives other people permission to ask me for help in return. It becomes reciprocal.
Key things to remember: Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness but a sign of strength. Seeking assistance is the bravest thing you can do.