What does “support” mean to you? The dictionary defines it as: to give aid or courage, or to strengthen.

When was the last time you needed to draw on your courage or strength? Did you ask for help or did you go it alone? Perhaps you did not take action because you didn’t feel courageous or prepared enough to get started. Or maybe you refused help and tried to go about your task by yourself.

Take a moment and think about that. Can you think of a time when you needed support and it was missing? Sometimes fear of ridicule or the shame of not knowing something cans stop us in our tracks. This is why everyone needs a support system – it is essential for long-term success and well-being in any field.

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There is No Shame in Asking for Help

When we admit what we don’t know and look for the right resources to support our success, we are making a positive choice for our futures. But if you only decide to stick with what you know right now, you will settle for second best, and possibly miss out on great joy and fulfillment.

Asking for help and support is a sign of strength, not weakness. When we defer to the expertise and skill of others and let ourselves be lifted up, we are making an investment in our future and opening ourselves up to more knowledge. Your ability to ask for and receive support will help you define your lifescape so much more quickly than going it alone. We all need others to lean on and learn from, especially in times of great transformation and personal inquiry.

Don’t let shame over the fact that you are not already perfect at what you want to do stop you from laying the groundwork necessary to move in that direction.

Support Enables Growth

Every journey is different, so every kind of support system will be different too. To know what you need, you must know yourself.

Crafting a support system is a vital part of the foundation of your success. No one is ever a success completely on their own; what they achieve is only made possible by the support they receive from others as well as themselves.

Sometimes you don’t have the answers. Reaching out for support can give you clarity. And asking for support can also bring new opportunities into your life! For instance: when I first started public speaking, I was very nervous. I thought I would faint the night before my first big speech. I called a friend and told her how frightened I was. She told me to imagine the front row of the audience sitting in their underwear.

The next day I gave my speech, and I received compliments because I looked so relaxed and happy. Was I really relaxed? No. But I was able to overcome my fear because I had asked for support from a friend. I hadn’t known how much I liked public speaking prior to that experience, because I had been too frightened to try it, too nervous about not being perfect.

Had I asked for support sooner, I might have had the opportunity to start speaking earlier in my career. Ultimately, because it went so well, I was asked to take on more speaking assignments. Today, a good portion of my work involves speaking and presenting to groups.

Asking for help makes our path to success easier. I encourage you to get clear on the kind of assistance you need, and remember that it’s okay to ask someone to cheer you on when you’re on a roll or remind you to hang in there when you’re feeling down. Learn to put your pride aside and communicate your needs clearly, and you will enjoy much more success down the line.