3 Ways to Ask for Support

A group of women all stacking their hands in the middle as a team.

I’ve been pretty vocal about the importance of knowing when to step down or stand back — especially when it comes to your physical and mental health.

After famously stepping down from the vaulting podium at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, Simone Biles received a lot of criticism:

How could she have just given up? How could she have abandoned her team? How could she be so weak?

Even after opting out of an event, Simone still came home with an Olympic silver medal. Plus, she has won the most world championship gold medals in gymnastics. A feat she may not have been able to achieve if she hadn’t stepped down that day.

It can seem counterintuitive to some of us at first, but asking for support is not a sign of weakness but of strength. It is good for our well-being. It develops our confidence in a MUCH deeper and longer-lasting way than it would with quick successes.

It’s a strength to know when to prioritize your long-term health over short-term glory. 🌟

Another strength? Knowing when to ask for help. Something that Simone Biles also made headlines for.

At the 2023 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, she won yet another gold medal, which can be partially credited to an insanely difficult vault, which has since been named the Biles II.

The judges deducted a half point because her coach, Laurent Landi, spotted her on the mat.

Simone and her coach knew how difficult this vault was to land. So much so that she could have been paralyzed or died had just one tiny thing gone wrong.

There’s no way Simone Biles would have risked her life for that medal or that move. But with her coach nearby to support her, she was able to land a vault that no one had before.

And who got the “glory” for this reach? Not Laurent Landi. His job was to stand there and make sure his athlete didn’t die in her attempt to do the seemingly impossible.

It was Simone Biles. She received the glory in the end. The support helped her rather than hurt her.

So, it’s not just important to ask for help. It’s important to ask for help when you know you’ll need it most. 🌟

3 Ways to Ask for Support

Asking for support helps us to stretch outside of our comfort zones so we can reach BIG.

So, how do we do it?

The easiest way to get started is to follow a simple rule of three: reflect, plan, and practice.

1. Reflect on Your Needs

Reflect on where you are now and where you want to go in the future. Ask yourself:

  • What support do I need to make my vision a reality?
  • What does it feel like to me when I don’t have support?
  • What are the signs of being unsupported?

For me, it’s self-doubt. When I feel unsupported, I stay playing small. I suffer from more burnout.

When I’m feeling challenged emotionally, financially, etc., I tend to hole inward and ask for less support.

Reflecting allows you to take an honest look at your situation and say, “I learned these things. Now, this is what I need going forward.”

2. Make a Plan

Start looking ahead. Once you’ve taken stock of what you actually want to achieve, you’ll be in a better position to clarify your needs.

Sometimes, support requires asking for more from someone. Other times, it might mean protecting your plan with boundaries. Consider:

  • What do you need to do to make your vision happen (even if it might be uncomfortable)?
  • Where can you set boundaries with your family and at work?
  • Who can you rely on to catch you when you fall?

We don’t need to shoulder the burden alone; if we ask for help, no one is saying we won’t reap the rewards of our hard work.

Simone Biles earned her gold medal — even though she has a huge support team.

Show yourself compassion and relinquish control of feeling you must do everything yourself.

I know not every risk I take is going to pan out, so I want to have my support system to be there to catch me when I fall – and celebrate with me when I succeed.

What I’m more scared of is failing without that net.

3. Practice Asking

It’s okay to ask for more support than you’ll actually need. To flex the muscle, check in with yourself regularly, and ask: What do I need right now for support?

  • Schedule weekly or bi-monthly meetings with a core group to check-in.
  • Write out your desired leaps ahead of time. What does reaching for the stars mean to you right now? What risks do you need to take?
  • Step into an imagined experience of failing as though you are actually experiencing it. This can help you get clearer on what kinds of support you’ll need if it happens.
  • Embody your vision and then share it with those you trust.

If you have an embodied state of what it could look like to fail or succeed, you’ll have a better idea of what kinds of support you need before you need it – and you won’t be stuck in fight-or-flight mode as much.

🌟 When you have people who hold your vision, staying on your path is easier.

🌟 When you DO succeed, it will be so deeply rooted within your support system that everyone will feel like they’ve won.

🌟 When you step outside of your comfort zone, big, wonderful things will begin to happen.

It’s Not Just About Sticking the Landing

Having a support system there to catch us when we fall allows us to constantly shift our beliefs of what’s possible.

Being “in it” with those who support you adds an extra layer of motivation as we feel compelled to succeed — not just for ourselves — but for our team and for those who believe in us.

Simone didn’t land the Biles II at the Gymnastics Championships Final Event. She didn’t even land every other move in her set. And even with the half-point “Laurent” deduction, she still won the gold medal.

Not only did she show us the value of asking for help, but she proved that striving for the impossible and striving for perfection also don’t go hand-in-hand.

Simone is such a role model for all of us. I hope we can lead in the way she’s leading.

I invite us all to dive deep into realizing not only what we want but what we need and be willing to ask for it.

Ready to get started? I’ve put together this Intention Meditation to help you gain clarity about what you want, vividly shape your intention, and invite the knowing that everything will unfold for the greatest good.

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