Vague Help - the BEST type of help!
Do you ever find yourself in a place where you could use some help but you’re not entirely sure how someone can help you or what help you need? When that happens, what do you do? Do you invite someone in, tell them what’s going on and see what happens? Or, do you wait to let someone in until you know exactly what you need/want?
My default in these situations is to wait until I know what I want/need and then let them in to help. One of the ways I act when uncomfortable or unsure is to disappear…I don’t want to be a burden to anyone, nor do I want to waste their time, so I believe I need to know exactly what I want/need before I can reach out to them.
Sometimes this is awesome. If I need help moving say, it might make sense to wait until I know when I’ll need their help before asking. Or, if I need help fixing something in the house, it’s helpful to know what’s broken and what fixed looks like. Sometimes, however, it’s better to just tell Jonathan I need help and let him keep me from over thinking the perfect place to drill holes for whatever it is that needs hanging.
Actually, if I think back to the times where I received significant help or did something significant with that help, it was when I received it even though didn’t know exactly what I wanted or needed help with.
My corporate mentor took the chance & offered me help that I certainly would have been too nervous to ask for, show my weaknesses and all that…but it ended up as the starting point for some huge professional growth.
This is also the case every couple of weeks. Even though I’m a coach, I have my own. I truly believe in the power of it, so I keep my own. In a coaching relationship, each week our client decides what they want support on; their “coaching request.” As a client, even after all this time, I still have weeks where I get anxious during the day of our session, trying to come up with my coaching request. More often though, the support I get around a request that develops during the conversation can be the most impactful.
Example: At a recent session, I had no request. I was basically in survival mode marching towards my vacation, but I had a question from the training intensive weekend we’d just had. What had seemed like a relatively simple question turned into something bigger and I left the call with a huge sense of relief I hadn’t even known I needed. (Intentionally staying vague on the covered topic as I plan to do a full post on it, but at a high level it was about my connection to each- self, others & spirit, being out of balance.)
This was also true when I first sought out coaching. Based on how I came to coaching, I often get asked the follow up question: “Why did you seek out coaching in the first place?” It’s not exactly a pretty answer. I wasn’t fully present to all of my potential with grand desires of the way I wanted my life to go. I didn’t have all my ducks in a neat row and was thus wondering, what next? Nope. I was not happy with myself. I wasn’t much fun to be around and I was really good at blaming other people for causing me to be that way. I wasn’t proud of my work performance, not that I was underperforming, but I knew I wasn’t being my best. And I was tired. I couldn’t really think of “what else,” or rather, I didn’t WANT to think about “what else”; I didn’t want to think at all. I desperately wanted to find the PAUSE button in life.
And then, I hit a pretty big bump in the road with someone important to me and I realized I needed HELP soon, or it really was going to come crashing down around me. I reached out to a friend who was a coach and asked for recommendations. I was lucky to chat with two AMAZING women to “choose” from.
Now that I am a coach, I believe my coach (@ Bay Quiney) may have been surprised I enrolled with her as quickly as I did. Afterall, I didn’t know EXACTLY what I wanted help with or how I wanted her support to show up or why I was even handing her my money for help. I didn’t believe I had something I’d always wanted to do, but wasn’t doing; I didn’t even know what my true passions were. All I did know, was that there had to be a better life experience than I was caught up in and I wanted THAT, whatever THAT was going to look like. I also knew that what I had been doing wasn’t working.
And yet, even though I didn’t know EXACTLY what I wanted support with or how that support could be provided, I underwent a significant and positive change. Phew! And wahoo!! Thank goodness I didn’t wait until I thought I “knew” what I needed/wanted help with before asking for it! I don’t know what I’d be doing now.
Do you think you could benefit from a bit of support but aren’t entirely sure why or how or on what? I’m incredibly curious what could be possible if you trusted your gut and talked about what has you thinking you may benefit from some support, aren’t you curious too?