Issue 230 – Impulse to Pretend

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?”
And I got “because I am scared of failing!!”
The lack of knowledge, the material sourcing, the reaction of my family, the uncertainty of my market…all rubbish, all excuses. I was, and I am, scared of failing. That is so much easier to work with.”
– Jennifer

Quick Tip

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.

7 Responses to “Issue 230 – Impulse to Pretend”

  1. Virginia says:

    So wise to ask questions to clarify, find out more, and demonstrate you are listening and paying attention. We should never be ashamed of not YET knowing or understanding something. Most people are pleased to make sure you are on track and don’t mind a query or two. Absolutely don’t be a victim – ask ! You actually demonstrate inferiority and lack of competence by doing something wrong when it would have been smarter and easier to ask first.

  2. Dragan says:

    Hi Kristen!

    I remember when I borrowed a self-help book for the first time. It was a book about how to think positively. Most people around me thought that something is wrong with me.

    When I later bought the book “Emotional Intelligence” then they thought that something really is wrong with me. Studying emotions wasn’t “in”.

    After some time when I realized that I do not need to go through same road that other people have passed and make same mistakes they made, my request for experts in any field burst into flame.

    Since then I was the weirdest person in the world – because I was investing in my self.

    But, after a little while I became “normal”. It happened when I stopped associate with people that surrounded me and didn’t have same goals and values as I did.

    The biggest problem why people do not seek help is the learned low self-esteem. Crystal explained that very well.

    To be able to ask for help we must be willing to change our own perspective about that.
    We must realize that asking for help isn’t sign of weakness and inferiority but sign of open-mindedness, courage and maturity.

    And, of course, we must ask ourselves questions from Quick Tip of today issue 🙂

    Till the next time, stay as magical as you are!

  3. Anne says:

    Asking for Help!

    I had to be the most independent person in the world. There was no help, no caring, no learning or teaching anything to or for me in our dysfunctional family. My mother said my name was ‘IT’. She was the most jealous, evil person on the face of the earth. If you ever asked for help the answer was “go fly a kite”.
    I was born into poor health which made things harder, and with no medical help available.
    Into my 20’s, boy did I show everyone how independent I was. Didn’t work out too well for me. I had a body suit of armor around me.
    In my 30 I paid the consequences of trying to be so independent. Lost my one and only love. And the poor health continued.
    In my 40 a lot of unemployment.
    In my 50 a couple of accidents.
    In my 60 – blind by age 61. Then a couple of more accidents. Eventually regained a little bit of sight in one eye.
    But by the age of 62 I finally learned that I needed help for everything from everybody. Learned that if I needed an arm to help me cross the street, I would simply grab a persons arm and ask “can I use your arm”. Probably surprised a few people. You see a few people did say NO, well I wasn’t going to take that sitting down.
    Now age 65 cannot walk properly due to a concussion.
    The people in my apartment bldg are very good at helping me with walking and taking my packages up to my suite.
    But I had to learn to not be so independent.
    I had to learn to ask for help.
    And now, sometimes, I simply grab the help I need from people. Unless it is offered firstly.

  4. Lindsay says:

    Help; there’s nothing better to progress one when you don’t seem to know what to do next or how. But when it does present itself as it will, if and when you are properly aligned; do you step back to qualify or second guess its content and the credentials of it’s source or do you trust it inspite of what might seemingly be contradictory to your own perception of the form it should resemble, the perception which is usually from a learned reference point that invariably cannot fathom anything in the realm of possibility that is not rational. I currently am in the process of unlearning a lot of restrictive and limiting thought patterns and beliefs and curiously accepting and testing “irrational” notions that yield a lot more interesting, liberating and much better outcomes. So any help that I seek and am offered is unlikely to be scrutinized for traditional validation of whether I accept it or not. I am in the process of honing my instincts to employ towards those ends. And I think the forums that Kristen has formulated have been expertly devised for such development. Look forward to a most edifying progression of corrective learning.

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