Stellar Coaching + Consulting

The Blog

Is It Time to Ask for Help?

Recently, I had someone contact me for coaching support. This is someone who I’ve known since before I started my company – so over 15 years. While she is aware of what I do as a life and leadership coach, we really haven’t talked about my work – or how it might be of benefit to her.

So I was surprised when she called out of the blue, saying that she wanted to hire me.

Turns out, she’s been feeling the need for coaching support for a few years now – you read that right, a few YEARS. From a space of curiousity, I asked her what the catalyst was for her to finally make the call? Her answer? Things had reached a critical, breaking point with respect to her leadership.


Her answer sparked curiousity for me about what it takes to seek out help when we know we need it. What is the impetus for reaching out? What spurs us into action? Essentially, how does one know when they need to reach out?

Here’s what I’ve come to realize; it’s time to ask for help when:

  1. You’re stuck. You want to move forward and you can’t without help. This is a definitive moment to ask for help. Otherwise, you’ll stay stuck!
  2. You’re overwhelmed. The options before you are so numerous you can’t discern your next step. Asking for help ensures you’ve got fresh eyes to support you in seeing what might otherwise be invisible.
  3. You find yourself continually putting things off. Phrase like, “I know that has to happen, but I’ll get to it later”, or “We’ll take care of that when _________ is done” are actually indicators that you’re simply delaying the inevitable. When you’re in this space, ask for help NOW – and break the pattern of delay.
  4. You feel alone. When you are feeling disconnected, isolated or otherwise flying solo, it’s time to reach out and pull someone into your corner. Find someone who will walk alongside you until you feel reconnected again.
  5. You’re lacking resources. When you’re faced with a problem and don’t have resources available to you – or you can’t see what resources are available to you – asking for help is a way to get what you need.

I know, each of these feels like common sense. And yet, so many folks resist reaching out; common sense feels elusive when we’re caught in any of the traps listed above.

Bottom-line: you don’t know what you don’t know. And so, when you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, when you’ve got some version of “this will resolve in time” playing as a script in your mind, that’s how you know it’s time to ask for help. Reach out, find support and access the help you need to move forward. Trust me when I say: the key to success – for all of us – is asking for help. And sooner is always better than later when it comes to reaching out.

Tracy Harvie