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Why I'm Choosing to Ask for Help Instead of Constantly Saying 'I'm OK'

Why do I always say, “Yes, I’m fine. I don’t need help — I can do it myself?”

I love helping others, and I have for as long as I can remember. Growing up in The Salvation Army, with parents and grandparents as Salvation Army officers, service was all I knew. I took this to a new level in my teenage years — running youth groups and bands, collecting donations on the streets, helping siblings and counseling anyone in need. It was expected. It didn’t feel “busy” or “strange” because it was our “normal.” But with this ingrained service attitude, accepting help is not a strength I inherited.

I’ve always seen it as my job to help others, provide for my family, volunteer, lead, give more than is expected at work, and be “strong enough” to do it all myself — no matter the obstacle. However, as my body began to let me down, I could not keep up with my own expectations. For my family, my willingness to provide and serve was intense — and always at 100%. I wanted to “fake it” to ensure my service would not wane — hide the pain, cover up the tremors, and power on.

I did have some wins, though. My wife challenged me to lower my expectations and standards. I must admit that I saw this as a “bad” thing at first, and it was the headline in many of our disagreements over the years. She encouraged small things — maybe say “no” to doing that extra volunteer gig, leave the dishes in the sink and wash them later, remember that the entire cleaning regimen is not urgent. She also told me that my 10-to-12-hour workdays five to six days per week were not a healthy work-life balance.

All I knew was an “all-out” approach to tasks, but “all-out” led to burnout, and every few years, my body totally shut down. While I understood balance theoretically

Family feelings Provident
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