#93 What help am I walking past?
#93 What help am I walking past?

This is a question that goes deep for me. As an only child, I was raised to be self-reliant. My reflex for much of my life was therefore to go it alone. These lines from Everything is waiting for you by David Wyte speak to this experience:

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.

Like David, I have learned we are never truly alone. Help is, in truth, just a question away. And yet, I know from personal experience that asking for help involves so much more than just asking for help.

  • There can be a sense that our image of self-reliance and strength may be undermined.
  • That we will be in someone else’s debt.
  • That we may become vulnerable.
  • That they might think less of us.

How Might I Think About This?

We clearly can’t control what or how other people think of us. What we can control is how we choose to see the world. So let me offer you an alternative narrative.

  • Rather than seeing ourselves as individuals, let’s see ourselves as members of communities. Communities help each other. In fact, communities have an interest in supporting their members.
  • Rather than seeing ourselves as in debt to any one individual, make it a debt to the community. If you can do a good deed for others then do so – in this way you can pay down any debt you feel you have.
  • Vulnerability is simply accepting that we need help. Others need to see how they can help. Unless we open up how can they?

Opening Our Eyes

Once we open up to the possibility of being helped, we come back to the original question: What help am I walking past?

The invitation is to pay more attention to the world around you as you go through your day – to see more opportunities not only for help you know you need but also for help you don’t yet know you need. Equally, ask yourself: How might I pay it forward?

Questions in the Image:

  • What help am I walking past?
  • What help do I not know I need?
  • What help will I ask for today?
  • How might I help others today?

Want to Read More Around This Topic?

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown (link to Amazon.co.uk). Dare to Lead is both practical and inspirational, offering insights and strategies for developing more human and effective leadership skills, fostering stronger communities, and embracing vulnerability as a path to courage and meaningful connection.

Nurturing Curiosity – Daily Practice: This is part of the Nurturing Curiosity series of tools, insights and questions designed to help nurture curiosity as part of our daily practice. In point of fact, every interaction we have is an opportunity to question what we are observing and how we and others are seeing the world. Also remember that questions come in many forms throughout our day. I’m actually writing this on my first morning back after the Christmas break and my body is rebelling. It doesn’t want to be here. It longs for holiday mode and is asking: Why not take it easier this morning? This is a deep question. Indeed, why not take it easier every morning? What, in fact, is driving me – or you – to get out of bed in the morning?

About Tom O’Leary

I coach, mentor and teach leaders who are shaping a brighter future.

Leadership can be lonely, the challenges daunting, and the workload overwhelming. I help leaders feel heard, gain clarity, take action, build confidence and thrive! Leaders matter. Their work matters. We need them at their best!

The first step? Becoming more curious. I see curiosity as the key, allowing us to unlock deep insights that directly enhance our ability to think, act and lead.

This means spending time contemplating what might be possible so that when we take action, we can bring all our energy and power to bear.

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