One of the most helpful and reassuring lessons I’ve been learning recently is that there should be no shame in asking for help when you need it. For the longest time, I was living with the idea that I should be able to do everything myself, from accomplishing a task to overcoming a personal obstacle. I’ve always been strongly independent, and found so much embarrassment in needing any sort of assistance.
If that were the case, there would be no need for anyone but myself in my life. If I was truly meant to “go it alone,” I wouldn’t be surrounded by people: a family who supports me, friends who go out of their way to show how much they care, and so many role models who have shaped who I aspire to be.
We all need each other. As a safety net to support each others’ strengths and supplement each others’ weaknesses. All of this is to say that a true sign of strength is not toughing something out on your own, but rather, knowing when you need help and not being afraid to ask for it.
This summer has been a huge transitional time for me, one that I don’t want to imagine having to face alone. After graduating from college, I moved back home to New Jersey, and this change of pace was so easy to mistake for a step back. Something about being in the environment where I grew up transported me to an earlier time, and it began to feel like the past two years of experiences, travel, and immense growth had been erased. Not a fun state of mind, I must say.
I could feel my instincts telling me that I should turn inward to figure this out, that I should have everything I need to move forward, but something in me knew not to listen this time. I ended up taking to Facebook to express my situation and ask for words of wisdom or affirmation from anyone who had been through a similar time. I quickly found out that literally everyone could relate.
Without getting too sappy, let’s just say I received an outpouring of support and advice. From friends, acquaintances, and people I have never ever had a conversation with. I was blown away. These responses didn’t by any means solve anything for me, but they showed me some tools I can use to save myself and served as a much-needed reminder that no one is alone.
I wanted to share my specific situation because I think it can be applied to anything and anyone. There is no shame in asking for help. Literally none. There is more shame in not asking for help, in my opinion. Vulnerability is bravery. And Sara Bareilles wants to see you be brave. So the next time you feel helpless, just look around and reach out a hand.