You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.
Lesson 6 Speak Up and Ask
Welcome to lesson 6, we are going to talk about asking for help. I know this lesson will be easier for some, for me it was somewhat a difficult lesson to learn. Now that you are disabled there will be things that you will need help with. These are things that you may have been able to do easily before your disability, but you need to learn to speak up and do not let your pride get the better of you. There may be things that you need help with now that in the future you will be able to do for yourself. Remember that people cannot read your mind so you need to speak up and ask.
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”
~Paul J. Meyer
Let’s take a minute and check how good you are at asking for help. Again answer the questions on a scale from 1 – 10 (1 never – 10 always)
1. When I drop something and cannot find it I ask for help finding it.
2. If I cannot find the thing I dropped or cannot reach to pick it up I just let it go for someone to find on their own.
3. When I cannot reach something I ask for help to get the item.
4. If I cannot reach an item I just give up and decide it is not important.
5. When a task needs to be done that I know I could have done in the past I try even though I could now get hurt.
6. I think people should be able to know when I need help.
7. I should ask for help more than I do.
8. I have gotten myself into dangerous situations because I did not ask for help.
9. I have gotten lost because I did not ask for help.
10. I embarrassed myself because I did not ask for help.
So how did you do? Did you have more high numbers? I know when I first lost my sight I would have had several high numbers. I scared my family more than a few times, got lost and embarrassed myself, all because I should have asked for help.
Okay, so I hear you saying, Yvonne, I don’t like to ask. I hear you loud and clear. So, let’s talk about some ideas on how you may want to go about asking for help.
First of all, it depends on who you are going to ask. My mom used to order for me when we went out to eat. Finally, I just came out and said something like I would like to order for myself, and she was find with that. It is much easier to talk and ask a loved one or friend since they know you. Like I said in an earlier lesson, you may be the only person that has a disability that they know. People are generally good, but they just do not know how to act around people that are disabled, so you have to tell them. I am including an article I wrote about finding your voice since I think it will help you understand and start to find ways to speak up.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous
delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
– e. e. cummings
When you are out and need help asking for help may be a little different. Many times people with disabilities are viewed as less than, so be prepared to be overlooked. Again please remember when people interact with you they are interacting with the whole disabled population, I’m sorry to tell you. Try to be polite, but try to command their attention. The more you know about what you are asking for the better. I have had good and bad experiences with customer service and stores. But I have found smiling and knowing what I am talking about works the best.
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
~e. e. cummings
Remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness it is a sign of strength. It means that you know yourself well enough to know your limitations. Just because you may need help with something today does not mean you will need help with it next week or next month.
Now go over to our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/10lessonempowerment/
and tell us the ways you have found to speak up. Do you find it difficult? Do you have any creative ways? At one time I was going to make a t-shirt with different sayings, like: I lost might sight not my hearing, or I lost my sight not my mind, or yes I can talk for myself (my favorite). I look forward to hearing from you!
Until next time,
Take care and speak up for yourself!
©Yvonne Garris 2014 all rights reserved
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