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Wellbeing / Business psychology

Help! I need somebody.

Smart businesses understand that helping others can be the key to ensuring prosperity and happiness. So what help do you need and are you good at asking for help?

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The following quote from my friend Mark Williamson, part of the UK-based Action for Happiness project, echoes a great deal of research that proves helping = happy:

Our generosity is hard-wired to the reward mechanisms in our brains. When we give our time, energy and kindness to others it not only helps them, it’s also great for our wellbeing too.

In spite of today’s census reminding me that I have not spent any time doing voluntary work in the last year, I’m a service-providing soloist who has experienced the profound sense of connection, reward and all round good karma from being generous.

But I’ve only recently recognised the importance of learning how to receive. Giving is a cinch, I’ve found, compared to getting. And I bet I’m not the only one.

What if the same self-determination that encourages soloists to step away from the herd is accompanied by a natural resistance to receiving help? I’m a shocker for this, whether it’s struggling with the pickle jar, deciding on a marketing tack or solving one across, I’ll try so hard to do it myself, rather than take up any offers of assistance. Heaven knows why, I suppose it’s to do with fear of failure or similar such nonsense.

"Whether it’s struggling with the pickle jar, deciding on a marketing tack or solving one across, I’ll try so hard to do it myself, rather than take up any offers of assistance."

Want more articles like this? Check out the business psychology section.

The fact is we need to let people help us and not bust a gut being so capable all the time. This is true on a personal and spiritual level, but also professionally. After all if others fail to recognise they need help, soloists will be out of pocket PDQ.

FS community member, Greg McKay regrets his decision to hold back on asking for help to maximise opportunities in his business: “One mistake I’ve made (more than once, I hate to admit), is to have a great business idea take off and fail to delegate the bits I’m not good at to those better equipped e.g. accountant/bookkeeper or whatever admin stuff I was rubbish at.”

Are you open to finding the help you need or does going it alone mean you prefer to go it alone?  Share your thoughts on asking for help below. I reckon that your willing participation in the Flying Solo community, a hub of advice and inspiration, suggests a good awareness of the need for support.

Still, if you’re like me and aren’t so sure that you’re highly evolved enough to seek help when you need it, let’s indulge in some group therapy by hopping online and saying “I need help…..”

I’ll start. “I need help from good getters who know how to ask for and receive the help they need.”

Your turn.

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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