You Have to Ask

By Lindy Earl

I was born in the ’60’s, and learned early that nothing is free, and few things are easy.  I was taught to work for a living.  I wasn’t taught entitlement.  I wasn’t taught pride.  Yet here I am, in the midst of them, in 2018.

In this world, there is good and bad.  I believe more good than bad, despite the occasional really bad day.  And yes, bad things do happen to good people and we see good things happen to bad people. It doesn’t seem fair, but life isn’t about being fair – the fair is something that comes to town once a year.

But let’s get to the point. Despite being raised to be independent, I’m finally learning that, sometimes in life, you have to ask for help.  I don’t mean to sit back and wait for others to do everything for you.  I don’t mean to give up and hope somebody will rescue you.  And I definitely don’t mean to refuse to work and demand support and free things at the expense of others.

But as I live my life, and work my company, and look for more clients or a job, and maintain my house, and try to exercise and eat healthy . . . I realize that, sometimes, it’s too much.

This is about looking around and realizing that some people do things well, and better than I do.  It’s about humbling myself and approaching them, to simply ask for help.  Not a handout, but help.  I don’t want to be given anything but the chance to learn.  But with so many qualified, educated, and hard-working people in my world, many of them my age with a great work ethic like me, I realize it’s okay, even good, for me to approach people and say, “Hey, can you help me?”

This benefits me, but it benefits others as well.  Yes, I get to learn from them. But they have the joy of someone requesting help from them.  Think about it.  Somebody has watched them and recognized how good they are.  They are being affirmed in their daily lives, just by doing what they do.  It has to feel great to have somebody notice, even if it’s somebody who wants a favor.

They then have the joy of teaching – of taking someone and showing them a better way to do things, or at least a different way of doing things.  They get to help another, based on their own knowledge, contacts, and experience.  Wow. Basically, they get to show off what they do well.  Again, wow.

But this all starts with my asking.  I need to acknowledge that sometimes life is too much for me. Not overall, but in one area.  I may ask for physical help – a ride to get my car.  Or emotional help – a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen to me vent.

By my asking for help, others get to provide help, and feel good about themselves for doing so.  Of course, the option of saying no is out there. It’s possible you could ask someone for help who is overwhelmed at the moment, or they might need a ride.  That happens.  Maybe that’s your opportunity to pay it forward.  And maybe that’s an opportunity to see that, just because somebody looks like they have it all together, doesn’t mean they do.  Then you can ask how you can help them.

Life is hard.  But life is good.  Life is harder alone, but doesn’t have to be lived alone.  You have to ask for help, and when you do, others benefit as well as you.

Lindy is a Business Consultant, Speaker, and Writer.  Contact her at to learn how she can make you and your company more successful.