Help Me Howard…or Anybody Actually…

help wanted sign

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I’ve realized that it’s really hard for me to ask for help.

I sat back and I thought about why asking for help is this huge challenge for me.
I figured out the reasons why are:

-I fear being vulnerable to someone else or being rejected.
-I fear placing my responsibilities onto someone else and they drop the ball.
-I don’t want anyone to feel burdened by me.
-I fear appearing weak or needy.
-I fear not being in control of all aspects of my life.
-I’m pretty prideful and I believe I have to be resilient, self-reliant, and independent, and I fear appearing any less than that.
-I  also fear…..

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Fear, Fear, Fear, that’s all it is!

All I’m doing is letting my fear stifle me from looking outside myself and utilizing my support network! This is probably the most backwards logic because although I don’t like to ask for help, I love to help others when asked. In fact, it makes me extremely happy to be asked, and I’m quick to go above and beyond. I will drop all of my own responsibilities, despite the consequences, to help someone else. I’m literally getting a Human Services degree to professionally help people lol.
How is it that am I so quick to offer help, yet I still don’t appreciate the value in asking for support enough to ask for it when I need it myself?

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confused woman shaking head to express "not getting it"

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Makes no sense at all but it’s real.

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We all respond to times of trouble and struggle in different ways. Are you stubborn like me and don’t ask for help when you need it?? Do you too struggle in silence too? Why??

When did asking for help become a negative thing? When did asking for help take away your independance?

It could be because we’ve watched our parents, or other role models “get it done” on their own. Or maybe we’ve been conditioned to believe asking for help is a sign of weakness or incompetence. Or maybe we simply just don’t know how to ask for help. In a society that largely promotes self help, the idea that some of us need to learn ways to seek and ask for assistance from others isn’t really promoted. Maybe you’ve been vulnerable and asked for help before and the experience left you feeling humiliated, or some other response that caused you to feel like you would never put yourself in that position again. There are countless solid reasons why asking for help may be a challenge for you. If you sit and reflect on it I’m sure you will come up with a list like mine that points to a common theme like fear, lack of confidence, lack of trust, or whatever your vice is that’s getting in your way.

I believe that the hesitation to ask for help is because we have the wrong perspective about it. Me for example, I love to help because of how it makes me feel. It gives me positive feelings; I feel needed, satisfied, valued, significant, and appreciated. I feel like I am doing good and making a mark in someone’s life. Do I see the person that’s asking me for help as weak? No, of course not. I see them simply as a person asking for support in a situation. Yet I will think all the negatives of myself if I need to ask for help? Double standard much??

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If you are like me, then WE are looking at this all wrong. We get in our own way when we make asking for help mean something about us that isn’t true. We get caught up in thinking it means we’re weak, inadequate, helpless, inferior, or some other negative label. The reality is that asking for help does not indicate anything about you; it plain and simply means you need help in a specific situation, or at a specific time. That is all.

Asking for help is actually a sign of strength and courage because THAT is what you display when you seek out help when you need it, not weakness. Don’t ignore the fact that help is a two way street with benefits for you and the other person. Instead of incorrectly thinking that asking for help means you’re a burden, know that you are actually giving others an opportunity to feel good about themselves like you do when you help others. It’s a win-win baby!

The helper gains confidence knowing they are a good person and they enjoy the good feelings that come from that. Studies call it the “helper’s high”– the portion of the brain responsible for feelings of reward, is triggered when someone helps someone else. The brain also releases “feel-good” endorphins and chemicals and makes you want to do more. So look at you, asking for help, and making the world a happier place!

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Whoever helped you ends up feeling great, you get the help you need, and you get the affirming reassurance that there are people out there that you can call on when you need them, and they will be there for you and have your back.

two stick figures holding the other's "back" in their hand

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It’s OK not to know everything. It’s OK not to be able to do everything on your own. It’s OK to need someone else. There is no shame in letting someone extend a helping hand to you. We all have something to share whether it be knowledge, time, talents, connections, insight, experience, skills, resources, or simple love and care; and the reality is most people love to share them. We can do so much more together, in partnership, than we can do alone. Think of the quote “Two hands are better than one.” It’s true. Too often we choose to ‘tough it out’ rather than reaching out to ask for help when we need it most.

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I don’t expect you to read this post and just jump and start asking for help every time you need it, but I’m saying challenge yourself to do it more. I challenged myself recently, and I’m so happy that I did. I had been feeling really emotionally drained and almost like a machine constantly running from my internship, to school, to work, meetings, and all the other things I have on my plate. Then after all that, I get to unwind with a nice plate of homework, how exciting, lol.

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So anyway, I was feeling drained and it’s not that I needed anyone’s help to physically do something, but I did need help changing my mood and I needed to feel supported. I sent a text to a few of my friends that simply said “ Hola! Just asking you to keep me in your prayers and send love and light my way. I’ve been struggling a little lately and just want to ask you to make sure you keep me in your thoughts!” I felt extremely vulnerable and it was uncomfortable. Not the strong, invincible Neffi! Yes, the strong, invincible Neffi, and you know what? The love I felt from them in their responses let me know why I should never feel fear of reaching out to people who love and are there for me when I need to. Why the heck am I letting this fear disable me? Not any more.

woman turning finger left to right to express "no"

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I want to share these two articles with you, 5 Mistaken Beliefs About Asking for Help, and 2 Words That Make Asking for Help a Lot Easier and I encourage you to read them. See that you are not alone in this struggle and you can change your perspective for your own benefit. Asking for help can be scary and hard but by having the courage to ask for help, you’re not dragging yourself or anyone else down, you’re pulling you, and them up. No more struggling in silence, no more feeling you are not worthy of someone else’s favor, because you are. Replace those negative thoughts with thoughts of empowerment. Everyone that you know needs help at some point so don’t criticize yourself. Ask for it once and you’ll be better at asking the second time, trust me. 🙂

“Ask for help not because you are weak, but because you want to remain strong”
– Les Brown

Love you,



“You is Kind. You is Smart. You is Important.” Affirmations 101

You is Kind. You is smart. You is Important.

In class last week my professor reminded us that we are now approaching the halfway point of the semester.​ Excuse me??? As someone who re-entered school last semester after 5 years, I honestly still get amazed at how fast it flies by! These past two weeks I’ve been one paper or presentation, (or blog post lol) away from yanking out a few hairs, I swear. It’s been this cycle of work, school, homework, meet with my group, argue with my group lol, have a life, work harder, school, repeat. Weekends have become GOLDEN, but yet I spent all of mine studying for a midterm that I thought was yesterday and it wasn’t! Delusional much?? Lol. I had forgotten how intense and stressful this time can be if you let it, and as I looked at my peers faces in our
“MTA packed train” style elevator, I could tell I wasn’t the only one. I like to think I can handle pressure pretty well and make sure I always have my game face on, but me needing Tylenol in the middle of class says otherwise lol.

First of all I want to applaud us all for making it to the “halfway finished” line. Whether you think you’ve been floating, sinking, or swimming, you’re here and that’s what matters. Secondly, it honestly doesn’t have to be stressful; it’s only as stressful as we allow it to be. It’s super important that through all this stress of midterms, and priorities, or whatever else we have going on in our personal lives, we stop.

Stop and take a second to look up at the sky, take time to talk and listen to people, sit and eat a REAL meal with a friend or family member and don’t start complaining about how school is killing you.

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(Sidenote: If I were you I would screen shot this bad boy right here^^^ good stuff 🙂 )

I want to share with you this one simple thing that has been keeping me motivated and grounded. Daily affirmations. An affirmation is basically a statement of support or encouragement that you tell to yourself. It is defined by as “emotional support or encouragement”.  You know how right before you start a test, or approach something new, and you’re hyping yourself up, telling yourself “ you got this” or
“you can do this” ?? That’s an affirmation right there.
A resource I’ve been using for a nice variety of creative affirmations is a FREE app called “
Unique Daily Affirmations.” It’s an app that sends you out a daily positive affirmation to basically “help you succeed in your endeavors and make positive changes in your life.”

There’s tremendous power in affirmations. They are you being in conscious control of your thoughts. They are short, powerful statements and when you say them, think them, or even hear them, they become the thoughts that create your reality.
Research has shown that we have about 35,000 thoughts a day,
more or less
(Leading Edge Journal).
Imagine the impact on your life if most of those are negative. It gets worse. Our thoughts carry over, so whatever you are thinking about, gets carried over to the next day’s 35,000 thoughts. So, if you’re thinking majority negative thoughts, you will only cause yourself to think
more negative thoughts, if that makes sense. It takes you back to what your parents and friends and other people may have told you like “ be careful what you wish for” or “What you think is what you get”.
Now, imagine if most of those thoughts were positive, motivating, uplifting and
self building??
Aha, there’s the magic.

Photo Credit: The HoodWitch

My affirmation for today was”:

“I will succeed because I am focused and passionate about my goal.”

Shoot, I only said it once and I believed it!  

You can set the app to alert you at any time of the day you choose. My affirmation releases at 12 midnight every night. So whether I’m writing a paper at that time, preparing for the next day, or I even just end up waking up to it, it always comes right when I need it. We all need that extra push here and there. That extra “you are confident and can do whatever you set your mind to boo” and it’s exactly what I love this app for and think you will love it for too.

The app is available for Apple and android users.

If you’re not into apps or you just prefer the old school black and white press, here are some websites that simply list affirmations that you can peel through and find your own gems.

Print a few and in the morning randomly select one. Let your heart guide you to the words you need. That’s one way to be blessed by them. Or you can simply search for the one that connects with you.

Remember, The key is repetition so you want to flood your brain with the positive thoughts. Say it over and over throughout the day. When you feel yourself slipping, when you’re washing your hands in the bathroom mirror, when you’re taking a selfie. The way you choose to think is just that, a choice; and the beauty is that choice is yours!

So no, unfortunately I didn’t give you the “abracadabra” to make midterms and homework or stress in general go away, I simply gave you the “push through, you’ll be fine, you got this”.

Your life may not turn around overnight, but if you’re consistent and make the choice on a daily basis to think thoughts that make you feel good and affirm yourself, (because face it who can love you better than you???) you’ll definitely make positive changes in every area of your life.

Remember who put you on, Love ya!

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