There’s a pervasive idea floating about out there. It is that when we are faced with a problem we should be able to sort it out by ourselves.
For many people, asking for help is seen as a weakness, seeking advice signals stupidity. It’s as though reaching out places us lower down in some invisible hierarchy. Getting another person – even an expert – to problem-solve with us is an admission of failure; it says something about ourselves that is too hard to bear. Better to suffer in silence than to accept that we are stuck.
Ideas like these are propped up on something more basic. It is that looking into ourselves and facing a difficulty makes us uncomfortable. It can generate all sorts of excuses “I can sort out my own problems” (when obviously, you can’t); “This is my business” (It may be, but and you’re clearly struggling others worry about you); “Nobody understands me as well as me” (Maybe, but a fresh perspective can work wonders).
You see, we all get stuck at some point. If I’m stuck now, that doesn’t make me a failure at anything, and it certainly doesn’t brand me as a failure in other parts of my life. The stupid thing, if I might be so bold, is to believe that how you FEEL when you are stuck is a reliable guide in how you could ACT.
The BIG thing that people so often forget
The BIG thing that people so often forget, or don’t understand, is that when two people engage in meaningful discussion, BOTH their minds become more creative. It is far greater than ‘two minds are better than one’. When two minds come together you can discover things that neither one of you would ever be able to predict. That’s the value in getting help from a therapist, coach or any third party who can help you re-ignite your creative problem-solving spark. It’s about collaboration and co-creativity.
Avoidance and denial are often the obstacles that stop people getting the help they need. This is when one can get caught in a self-perpetuating cycle of aggravation, powerlessness and isolation. To say that it’s stupid to be stuck in a trap of one’s own making may seem harsh, but sometimes is takes a shock to get us to accept that things need to change, and that change IS possible.
Acceptance is the key word that prompts people to seek out a therapist or coach. The realisation that one isn’t able to go it alone any longer is so powerful that it alone will trigger positive change in many cases.