Impulse to Pretend
By Crystal Andrus
Do you feel, as I once did, that asking for help (although great for other people) is just not something you do?
Do you pretend to know things just so you won’t feel embarrassed or stupid? Just so others won’t know that you don’t know??
I love how international bestselling author Gretchen Rubin writes in her wildly successful book, The Happiness Project: “Despite the fact that ‘It’s okay to ask for help’ is one of my Secrets of Adulthood, I constantly had to remind myself to ask for help. I often had the immature and counterproductive impulse to pretend to know things that I didn’t know.”
I love her honesty!
I too used to just “shut my mouth” and pretend to know things that I didn’t. I’d sit in business meetings and hear phrases and ideas tossed around that sometimes confused me, but I would never show it. I never wanted others to “see me sweat.” (You know the old adage “Never let ‘em see you sweat!”)
I thought that my “not knowing” showed my incompetency and inferiority. Instead, I’d waste months, even years, stumbling around with a problem rather than asking for help; rather than simply saying, “Can you help me understand this better?”
Because of my false pride, I made pointless, unnecessary mistakes and wasted valuable time.
I learned this though. I learned to operate with false pride. I learned to pretend to be ‘smarter, richer, and more able’ than I really was. Maybe you learned it too . . .
Here’s some empowered advice: The most successful people in the world ask for help . . . but not just from anyone, however. It is important to get the right advice from the right person. Sharing your stuff with “anyone who will listen” is not asking for help. That’s called complaining. That’s being a victim.
The most empowered thing we can do when we aren’t sure is to reach out to someone who has mastered “that specific area” of their own life and then to allow them to share their insights with us; to listen.
We’ve all heard the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Just imagine someone in a helicopter, circling above your proverbial forest, who can easily see where the path to freedom is. They are above the forest–a.k.a. “your problem.” They have a better perspective.
My most sincere message I can leave you with today is to let go of your own false pride and get the help you need. As scary as it may feel to share “your stuff,” it is the fastest and most effective way to find the path to your freedom. Asking for help is not weak. It is empowered.
Keep Reading for a Quick Tip on how to ask for help WITHOUT feeling terrible about it…
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“Yes. Not only yes, but wow yes! I think you are a genius Kristen. I asked myself the question “Do I want to shift my energy to be in alignment, or do I want to shift my participation?” and I got “just wait a while” I then asked myself “Why?. Why wait?”
You’re ready to say “Yes” more – however you find yourself struggling because saying “no” has become such a habit that you don’t even notice it anymore…
So you’re ready to ask for help, but you don’t want to feel badly about it – right?
Here’s how you do it…
Use this Power Question Cycle…
First: Ask yourself this question…
What is 1 place in my life I have been avoiding asking for help?
Second: Ask yourself this question…
What is the smallest way I could ask for help in regards to this?
Third: Ask yourself this question…
What is everything good that can come of me asking for help?
NOTE: Include benefits for you and for the person your asking to help you as well as anyone or anything else that may experience a positive impact.
Then, go do it! And celebrate once you have.
Keep using this power question cycle and you will be freeing up the energy that gets stuck when you refuse to ask for help.