Amanda’s story is like a movie or a page-turning novel, it doesn’t seem to be real. It is so entertaining reading about how she was a street performer, living in a house where people come and in out, where the door is always open to all with the desire to make art, friends, and family.
I’ve learned about myself as I read this book. I knew before reading this that I was bad at asking for help. Reading Amanda’s book taught me asking for help is a point of gratitude, not weakness. I am beginning to ask for help with a grateful heart instead of a fearful one.
Here are my three big takeaways:
Shame. Power. Gratitude.
Amanda stated, “Asking for help with shame says: You have the power over me. Asking for help with gratitude says: We have the power to help each other.
This really stood out to me because I think a lot of people struggle with asking for help because it makes them somehow feel weak or lesser. I love the concept Amanda shares how power enters the scene when you ask in shame. The feeling of shame is what makes you feel the person has power over you. Asking with gratitude diminishes the space for any shame or guilty to exists. Instead, it becomes a partnership, it becomes how can we help each other.
This was profound to me when I applied it to my music. About a decade ago, I was performing all over Utah and Colorado. As a singer-songwriter, I not only didn’t ask for help, I hardly asked people to come to my shows.
Amanda wrote, “We sometimes can’t see what we do as important enough to merit the help, the love.” When she was a street performer she talked about giving the watchers an exchange of love. She would look into their eyes and internal say, “I see you.” As she would hand the person a rose she explained how it was a gift of love.
We shouldn’t downplay what we are doing whether that is offering a product, a service, whatever it is that we are giving, we should consider it a gift of love to the people who receive it. If we can change our mindset around the gift we are delivering, it will be a lot easier to ask for help.
I want to compare my music to my party supplies. I never felt like my music benefited people. I also viewed it as a means for me to release my emotions. I didn’t give enough merit to my music, which is why I wasn’t very successful as a singer-songwriter. For some reason with my party supplies, I can see the merit. I can see how these products can benefit people.
Connecting to people.
Amanda talks about this being the success to crowdfunding. You can ask the masses to support you in your endeavor and a handful of people may come to support, but when you crowdfund to your crowd, the people that you’ve connected with over the years, you will be surprised at the response you get.
I think this is where a lot of us have missed the mark. I know when I first started doing stuff for my blog Hint of Lavender I wasn’t connecting with people. I thought I was, but the longer I’ve been doing it and the more I read; I realized I wasn’t connecting with people. Liking and commenting on someone’s post isn’t connecting. Connecting is having a conversation, learning more about the person rather than seeing what they put on social media.
I loved Amanda’s book the Art of Asking. If you are struggling with asking for help, you really should read the book it changed the way I merit my work and ask my crowd for help.