As a biracial Latina, I learned from a young age to be as self-sufficient as possible. I remember one momentous spelling quiz in middle school where a classmate told my teacher that I didn’t speak English after she called on me. Proving myself capable became a survival mechanism, and one I didn’t take lightly. All of this made it so that asking for help in my teens — and later as an adult — was akin to admitting I couldn’t do something for myself.
Maybe you’re like me and remember moments when your own ability was put into question. Or maybe you’ve been doing things on your own for so long that you don’t know when to ask for help. As humans, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we should be self-reliant at all costs, but part of learning to care for ourselves means knowing our own limits.
Research has shown that practicing self-compassion not only helps alleviate the burden of juggling everything solo, it can also improve our psychological well-being; making us feel happier and more connected to one another. Here is why you shouldn’t resist relying on help from others, and why it’s a powerful act of self-love.
Help Doesn’t Make You Weak
This is by far one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn as an adult, but one that was necessary for me to grow. When I became a mother, one of my biggest struggles was realizing I couldn’t do it all on my own; I needed a support system. This meant letting go of my pride (yes, pride!) and understanding that it honestly takes a village. Part of this means being humble in accepting the fact that we all need each other.
Seeking Help is Brave
Reaching out shows you’re not afraid to take control of a situation. Just as a prized athlete relies on a coach for guidance — being open to asking a colleague for help on a project or your significant other for help around the house, means you value and respect yourself.
Leaning on Others Creates Connection
It can be difficult to put into words what we need, but there’s no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Acknowledging our own vulnerability makes us more relatable and trustworthy. Don’t think of your shortcomings as burdens; they let others know you’re human. If you need a listening ear or advice on a difficult situation, reach out to those you know. In doing so, you’ll realize that most people are surprisingly willing to step up.