Business Women having dinnerJust prior to my last appearance on TV, the show host asked if I’d be willing to talk about why some people find it difficult to ask for help. I thought it was an interesting topic and well worth discussing on TV. Many of my clients fail to ask for help for many reasons. I find that people who are generally givers and contributors to others often have a harder time asking than people who are deemed takers. Takers in life never have any trouble asking for help. They are generally spend most of their time asking for what they want or at the very least expecting that they will get whatever they want. This segment was for the givers.

Here are a few reasons I’ve noticed that people may not ask:

Avoidance; of disappointment or rejection – Rejection can feel like being unworthy. Who wants that experience? So we avoid the feeling at all costs.

Shame – Shame is a big one. We don’t feel worthy or valued enough to ask for what we want or need so we don’t ask for it. We are ashamed of why we need the help.  However if we knew we were worthy of being helped or worthy of having what we want, we would simply ask for it AND expect to get it.

Pride –  I see pride as an inflated sense of one’s personal status. Yes, we’re too proud to ask.  We act as if we don’t need anyone. We have a I don’t need you type attitude.

Vanity – Then there’s vanity; an excessive pride in one’s appearance. The attitude here is I’m too vain and no one can do it better than me, so I’ll just attempt to do it myself and not ask.

All of these reasons keep us from asking but ultimately we do need others and from time to time need to ask for help.  Then the question becomes how do you ask.

  1.  First admit you need help – Everyone needs someone or something sometimes and we can’t be the end all be all for everything.  No man is an island. We need each other to get to where we’re going. Admit it!
  2. Identify someone whom you know can and will deliver on the request. It is imperative that we ask the right person; a person who not only can but will support you. Know who can and who can’t, and know who likely will and who likely won’t  say yes to you.
  3. Identify someone who has compassion for the situation. There are people who understand your issue, plight or circumstance. Give them an opportunity to show compassion and help you through a situation they’ve already been through.
  4. Know that on the other side of your ask is an answer. You won’t know until you ask. Be bold enough to ask for what you want in spite of your pride, shame or vanity.

The longer you delay the ask, the longer you’ll suffer in silence – and silence creates more doubt that you can have what you want.

See the segment here and witness how I ask the host to help me!

Weigh in on your opinion about asking for help for what you want. Why don’t you ask?


Lisa Thomas is the CEO of The P3 Group, Inc. and The P3 Group International, LLC, publisher of The P3 Power Boost Online Magazine, host of The P3 Power Boost Radio Show, and President of the Board of Directors of NetWorth. She is a 20-year veteran in business, executive leadership and performance coaching/consulting. She has worked extensive with corporate call centers, executives and small business enterprises. She’s been a featured columnist and business strategist on Affiliate NPR, WFDD, The Cary News, Fox 8 and numerous NBC affiliate stations.

Lisa is best known for her business and leadership acumen and is widely recognized her ability to develop leaders to be more effective. Lisa is also a sought after keynote speaker on various topics women in leadership face. She generously donates her time and expertise to a number of organizations and worthy causes, including NetWorth, the Business Succession Forum Network, and the Hazel B. Neal Foundation, for which she recently was recognized with the woman of Power, Purpose and Vision award. In her downtime, she can be found practicing yoga, cycling, swimming, reading a good book or spending time with family and friends.

Lisa Thomas
CEO/Sr. Business Strategist
The P3 Group, Inc.


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