Are you the kind of guy who relies on willpower to get the job done? If you are an entrepreneur, the most likely answer is, “yes.”
The big question is, why is it so hard for most males to be vulnerable? What gets in the way of asking for help? And, an even bigger question is, why is it so hard to change old, unproductive behavior patterns?
Look, it’s good to be self-reliant, figure things out for yourself, get where you need to go…even without Siri.
It’s good to be smart and right and strong and competent. That’s part of the masculine mystique. And while lots has changed and men are becoming more caring, as women become more daring (think Wonder Woman), the need for most men to ‘tough it out’ can be exhausting, as well as health damaging.
Where did it start?
It goes back eons and the results of having to be the strong, silent type is called Social Perfectionism. You need to put up a façade of being smart and right. It means saying how capable you are and of course, never, ever being afraid to tackle anything.
What does Social Perfectionism do to you?
It makes it impossible to ask for guidance. It means always, and that means always, staying in control. It means never being obligated to anyone.
Here is what to do to make change happen:
- Say “yes” more: When someone asks, “Can I help you?” – stop, take a breath and move beyond the typical knee-jerk answer of, “I’ve got it all handled, thanks.”
- Create connections: Even if you think you can do it alone – stop, take a breath and engage others to join you in your projects.
- Speak out: Share your feelings…you know – stop, take a breath (use the “f” word, if need be) and let people know how you feel, not just what you think.
- Ask, don’t tell: Start with open-ended questions – stop, take a breath and just ask; that will get you better responses than if you simply use the old pattern of telling others what to do.
- Request a favor: Let someone do something for you – stop, take a breath and then simply say, “thank you,” without defending your position by telling how you could have actually done it yourself.
Most males hate that feeling of helplessness. Makes sense, it’s a creepy feeling. It’s like being a little kid and needing your caretaker to wipe you mouth or butt, or telling you when to do your homework or go to sleep.
You don’t want to look weak or let others know you need help. Maybe they’ll start to judge you. So, you put the shield up and simply tough it out.
It’s really time to raise awareness that toughing it out shuts you off from the best solutions available. It’s time to get rid of the stigma that still exists that, “real men don’t need help.”
You are a real man, and its okay to ask for help.