By Laura Price, NeedToLive Marketing Project Manager
For as long as I can remember I was always too scared to ask when I needed help. If I was stuck on a question in school I would rather guess the answer than ask the teacher for help. To this day I do not know why I did this, but it never really became a problem until I went to university.
During university my mental health started to go downhill, I didn’t like to leave my comfort zone at all, it really started affecting my studies. I didn’t really realise it was a problem; until I failed my first assignment.
My lecturer called me in for a meeting asking me where I think I went wrong. I knew what the problem was, I didn’t fully understand the assignment, but instead of asking for help from my lecturers or turning to my classmates, I struggled, resulting in a fail.
This is when I started to realise it was affecting me, and things did get progressively worse. I kept over thinking everything, I remember sitting in my bedroom (at this point I was living with great friends) and I was too scared to leave my room. They were all downstairs hanging out, but I could not bring myself to leave my room. I felt like I was just going to get in the way or ruin the fun time they might be having because I was not feeling my best self. I didn’t want to be a downer on their day; I just couldn’t bring myself to ask them to help me get out of that frame of mind, and trust me when I say I was in desperate need of help at this point.
A few years later I graduated from university and got my first job. I gained the role through a trainee careers programme, I studied film at university but realised just before graduation that my passion was more in the marketing and design field, so the programme was a great way for me to get my first steps into marketing. I’d never done anything like it before, so I didn’t really know what I was doing.
My first day of work was the most terrifying thing I have ever been through, (it really wasn’t, but that’s what happens when you overthink EVERYTHING!). My anxiety was through the roof, I had a constant feeling of dread and just wanted to run. About a week in I woke up having a panic attack and refused to go in. The next day I pushed myself to go and had a meeting with my boss. He asked me why I thought I was feeling this way, so I told him it was because I had no idea what I was doing and I didn’t want to let the team down. Luckily, he was a great boss who was very understanding and wanted to help me, he said all I needed to do was ask.
So, I did. Every time I didn’t understand something or was unsure, I asked someone for help, and they did help with no problems at all. In fact, they were more than happy to help. What was I even worrying about? Why was I so scared to ask? You tell me because I still don’t know!
It was like opening a portal to a whole new world for me and everything started clicking into place. My life became a million times better, all because I started asking for help.
I applied this to other aspects of my life. My mental health still wasn’t the best, I was having panic attacks and was struggled with agoraphobia. So, I went to the doctors and asked for help. I had CBT to help me with my anxiety which is a fantastic programme that allowed me to control my overthinking. It helped to rewire my brain and think more positively, rather than the usual ‘what if it goes wrong’ mentality.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days and sometimes I still find it hard to ask for help. But I always remind myself of all the other times I’ve asked, nothing has ever gone wrong, everyone has always wanted to help.
If you are struggling or unsure of something, do not sit there in silence, believe me when I say it doesn’t help. So ask away, be kind, be silly, be you.