I am reluctant to admit that one of my very favorite stories as a child was the tale of The Little Red Hen. Many times over the years I remembered two of the lines repeated throughout the tale — “Then I’ll do it myself“, said the Little Red Hen. And she did.
And so did I! Like so many women I know, I needed to prove that I could handle everything that came my way, rarely asking for help. It was decades until I realized that I had confused an important message in the story of The Little Red Hen. My takeaway from all those years ago had been that this industrious and independent hen did it all, and in the end enjoyed the benefit of her hard work. Oh, how did I miss or forget the very important point that the strong, self-sufficient Little Red Hen actually did ask for help? She asked repeatedly. How unfortunate that she found herself surrounded by those who were unwilling to assist in any way. Thankfully, most of us know many people who truly would be happy to help us if we would just ask.
Why, then, do we hesitate to ask for help? We all have our own reasons, some based on experiences from long ago, and some simply a part of who we are. I have discovered that asking for help is much easier than I once believed, and I now do it often. If you believe in some power, spirit, energy or force outside yourself, this is a good place to start. I have also found that family, friends, and colleagues are frequently very happy to be asked for help and happier still to provide it. And let’s not forget that there are people and organizations that offer specialized services if the help we need is beyond the help that those we know and love can provide.
I suggest that you take a few moments in the next day or two and ask yourself, “What are the biggest challenges I face at this point in my life?” Write down (or type) all of your thoughts on this question as they come to mind, trying not to filter any thought before you capture it. Then, for each of the challenges you have listed, ask yourself, “Who can help me with this?” Without hesitation, jot down all of the names that come to mind, not worrying now about actually having to ask those people for their help. A day or so later, go back to your notes and decide if you are ready to begin asking for help in dealing with the challenges you have listed. When you are ready, start making these requests. I know from experience that you will be delighted with the results. One of my happiest days was when I finally said goodbye to my misunderstood role model, the Little Red Hen.