The easiest yet hardest words to say.
I was playing with my two year old and noticed her repeat the same two words over and over. I realized that most parents, including myself, frequently get annoyed with these two words but once the annoyed feeling left I realized why it annoyed me so much. These are two words that I don’t use enough.
In fact, I actively avoid using them. I have also been denied the ability to use these words both by society and individual people. That needs to stop and we need to use these words more often.
What are these wise words spoken so easily by the smallest of humans: help and no.
These are one syllable words that are easier to pronounce than Worcestershire, yet we hardly say them. Why is that? Here are some thoughts:
Often we have internalized the belief that asking for help means something about who a person is, ie asking for help means that somehow “I’m weak, not good enough,” etc. This is called a shame based belief because it characterizes the problem as something about who you are instead of a skill or a weakness.
There are two consequences of not asking for help: first is that it reinforces the shame based belief. Second: it limits growth potential. By pushing through and continuing to ask for help even when afraid, means that the old limiting shame based beliefs have to change and growth as a person can continue.
Many people believe that when we say no to others it’s “mean,” “blocks your blessings,” or makes you “ungrateful.” When we believe these, we fear saying no. Difficulty saying no often leads to an overfilled plate, an unbalanced life, and resentment.
We have limited time and energy and if we are not actively choosing (ie saying no) the things/events/people/behaviors in our lives, those things will drain our time and energy and we will have nothing left for the things we want to spend our time and energy on. This is called Parkinson’s Law. Be choosy in what you say yes to because you are saying no to something else.
You have the right and responsibility to ask for help and to say no.
Not only is saying no or asking for help a right you have. It is a responsibility. If you choose not to exercise your right, you end up being resentful in your life and harming the relationships that you value. I realize I sound like negative Nancy and Debbie downer had a child, but it is imperative that we begin to create a healthy environment not only for ourselves but for our loved ones and these simple (but hard) words can make a huge impact.
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