Ask and You Shall Receive
‘Why do we find it hard to ask for help?’
Through this journey and all the women we have gotten to meet who have shared their stories with us, this has emerged as a common theme.
It starts with thinking you can do it all on your own. Then comes the acknowledgment that you cannot do it all on your own. After which – is asking for help. Many of us get stuck at thinking we can do it all alone. We found that most women feel held back because they do not want to admit that need help and once they realize they need help, they do not ask for help.
This applies to both the domestic and professional spheres. At home, domestic chores are still largely considered the women’s domain along with general household management duties. This doesn’t imply that the husbands are slacking off but in most cases we have come across, it has just been a situation where the woman just “had it under control”. In the professional space, studies have shown time and again that the higher salaries of men could often be attributed to men asking for them and women frequently settling for the first salary offered.
Discussions with several women have led us to understand that asking for help was being viewed as weakness since many women in high-achieving positions and roles feel asking for help exhibits a vulnerability that should not exist in the first place. While being in control is a great feeling, letting go a little and letting someone capable take over some tasks can get the tasks done well and be a more efficient outcome for everyone in the long run.
There are many reasons why women have told us they don’t ask for help.
- I already know what to do. I am trained to handle this responsibility. I should not even feel the need to ask for help.
- There is no point in even asking because I am sure the answer is a No.
- There is nobody in a position to really help me because I have unique circumstances which nobody can understand what I am going through and the enormity of what I am grappling with.
This clearly indicates that the problem appears to be, to a large extent, self-inflicted. Why we view an outstretched set of helping hands as a complete and utter personal failure when in fact, it needs to be accepted as an encouraging and empowering sign is one of our key beliefs at My Second Act. We strongly believe that women need to give themselves permission to be helped and supported and above all – to recognize when they need help and how to ask for it.
We have heard this so many times, but once we put it into action ourselves, we realized it can be incredibly freeing, satisfying and efficient. Once help arrives, everything seems more manageable.
So know this – if you don’t ask, you won’t get.
This is your Second Act. Let’s begin.