Being strong means we don’t need to ask for help, right? Somehow we got this idea that we need to be able to do everything ourselves and shouldn’t need help. If we ask for help, we are weak or dependent. Or is it that you don’t want to ask for help because you want to stay in control? (Which, by the way, often has the deeper meaning of being afraid to look dependent).
Unfortunately, when we don’t ask for help, we often set ourselves up for making mistakes, re-inventing the wheel, taking valuable time away from ourselves, pushing ourselves past our limits, causing injury or illness, and more.
If these aren’t enough downsides, we can lose track of what is most important to our own lives, which makes us end up feeling resentful. Resentment can lead to several other emotional, behavioral and physical issues. Resentment can start us down a very bleak path.
Not only does living life without ever wanting to ask for help make us resentful, we start to show that resentment. It comes out in our conversations as irritation or sarcasm. We purposely leave things undone or half done for others to see, and eventually all of this affects our relationships.
Two stories come to mind when I think about asking for help. The first is from a television show I saw years ago and the second is my own life. Several years ago when many superhero movies were coming out, there was a TV show, which I can’t remember the name of. This particular episode showed a man who was determined to climb a very difficult mountain without help. The issue for him is he was in a wheelchair. He trained for a long time and when he was ready, he went after this mountain with his team. He did very well. His team would occasionally put wood planks down, making it easier for him to navigate the terrain. When he was very close to the top (I think less than 100 feet or so), he just couldn’t do it anymore. He needed his team to help pull him as he continued to use his arms to pull himself up. He made it to the top because of his team’s help. He talked about this at the end of the episode and his realization that the only reason his goal was fully realized was due to his team and asking for their help.
As for me, I’m always looking to grow and improve. When I opened my business and as I’ve been working on it for the past 5 years, there were several things I started on my own, but don’t have the best skills or knowledge for (such as building a website and marketing). Eventually, I asked for help. I had a team working with me and although I continued to do the hard work of implementing it all, I pulled from their expertise and knowledge to help me grow. I am part of several collaborative facebook groups in which we support each other and learn from each other to grow as people as well as in our businesses. Asking for help was a game changer for me.
Back to you. If you don’t ask for help, you eventually wind up frustrated and resentful. You might give up on what you’re trying to do or may not start at all. Unfortunately all this does is hold you back from who you can truly be. Never stop learning; never stop growing.
Whereas I say this, it’s completely normal to not want to ask for help. In truth, most people will go years knowing they need therapy or coaching before seeking it out. Often they’ll look for what they can find as self-help options online first. It’s ok to question whether therapy or coaching would help you.
It’s true that you are struggling with something and are likely feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and unsure. However, if we can learn specifically what the differences are between coaching and therapy as well as the benefits we’ll get from therapy or coaching, we can make a more educated and excited choice. When we know how the two are different and how they can help us, it is entirely possible to make a gung-ho decision and feel confident in our choice.
Keep reading to learn how to decide whether coaching or therapy can help you
Feeling frustrated, worn out, confused, and unsure
The biggest downside of not asking for help is the feeling of being stuck. When we feel stuck, hopelessness starts to set in. We start taking it out on others and don’t feel confident in ourselves. Then we just don’t do anything which causes those guilty feelings.
At the very least, you find yourself being indecisive and therefore not making any definitive decisions. All the while, the issues continue to be there. Living this way is extremely lonely. None of us know everything and we will need to ask for help. Without asking for help, we not only feel like, but literally are doing everything by ourselves and can start to feel resentful.
Confidence, Progress, Excitement
Although you struggle with whether to go to therapy or coaching…or do nothing at all, you have the potential for a relatively quick solution and from that solution comes growth and happiness as you start meeting your goals.
When we choose to ask for help, there is a possibility for improvement in all aspects of your life – work, home, health, friendships, leisure, etc. You have the opportunity to get questions answered, solutions found, a feeling of renewed hope, confidence, excitement, and progress in your life and work.
How to Achieve the Confidence, Progress and Excitement
Yes it may be true that you are currently feeling unsure, confused, or even embarrassed, but you don’t have to anymore. The key to achieving confidence in our work or life is to identify whether coaching or therapy will help you along this path. They are very different in their approaches, and both have their place in life and work progress.
Making this decision is not as difficult as you kay think once you know how the two vary. When you follow a simple step-by-step path, you will start to see which modality will be the better option for you.
Take a look at these next steps to see how you can start making progress today
One of the reasons you struggle with indecisiveness is because we feel embarrassed to ask for help. It makes since that you feel embarrassed. We live I a culture of “I can do this without help.” We all want to be treated exactly the same regardless of education, physical strength, and other differences we have that make us unique individuals. But it does not have to stay this way when you understand exactly what coaching or therapy can do for you.
1. Identify what you want to accomplish
Here with Meg Young, LCSW, PLLC, you and I determine exactly what you want to accomplish. It is a different emotional state? Is it getting out of burnout at work? Is it what to do next in life? Is it how to communicate with your spouse better? Goal setting truly is the first step in whatever we do together. Having an end game allows us to set steps to get there. Otherwise, we may go off in several directions and not get where we want to be. However, this step does more than just set a game plan. It also helps us determine if coaching or therapy would work better.
When you really hone in on what you want to accomplish, you will start to see what path your game plan needs to take. It is hard to do anything without a game plan including setting an ending. Coaching and therapy have different paths. So deciding what the goal will be will help to set the path down coaching or therapy.
2. How much do you want to delve into your emotions and past in order to help meet this goal?
Together with my clients I brainstorm with them how intertwined their concern is with their life experiences and whether those experiences and associated feelings and beliefs will hinder their progress. Often we don’t realize just how much our life experiences affect our current situation. Sometimes in order to get to a resolution, we need to go back into the past or into emotions and beliefs to see where the current struggles stem from. Beating it at the stem will help prevent the issue from resurfacing in the future.
After you identify this, you will start to be able to determine if coaching or therapy will be more beneficial as coaching does not delve into emotions and beliefs holding you back the way therapy does. Depending on what you are dealing with, it may or may not be important to delve into emotions and beliefs.
3. Independent of whether you want to delve into emotions and beliefs, identify to what extent they impact you.
Are you or have you felt suicidal? Do you need a medication evaluation to help with depression or anxiety? Not everybody or every situation is right for coaching and sometimes people need therapy before they can move to a more coaching modality to achieve their goals. There is nothing wrong with this and can actually help you achieve your goals faster if you are honest with yourself. With more intense emotions or thoughts, cutting these off first will prevent future occurrences and also help you understand yourself better.
When you schedule a session with me, you and I will answer a few questions which will help us determine whether coaching or therapy will be the best modality to meet your goals in the quickest time frame. Sometimes this means my clients end up doing a few months of therapy before they do any coaching, but by the end of our work together, they notice the importance of starting with therapy, even if they did not originally see it this way.
Adding coaching or therapy to your life will make it possible for you to create realistic goals that you can easily reach. You can have the life you want. Both therapy and coaching have life-long benefits and can help you reach your goals. They both have a significant role in helping people along their life journey. It is just a matter of determining whether coaching or therapy will be better for you. And you can do both to have even stronger results.
Achieving your goals through either coaching or therapy can be extremely exciting. You absolutely can feel confident, accomplished and happy. Meg Young, LCSW can help by determining with you whether it’s coaching or therapy you would benefit more from, then help you realize these goals. I specialize with first responders, medical professionals and court professionals to help Critical Care Givers maintain their life’s passion.