“Who did you reach out to for help in the past few months?”
This was a question that was posed to me by the panel moderator at the Asia Professions Speakers Convention. I was invited to be amongst a panel of speakers on the topic of “Nurturing Relationships in the New Era“
The question made me rethink my paradigm of what it is to nurture relationships, and it gave me an epiphany.
Over the past few months, I had been reaching out to my existing connections – clients, friends to offer my help in any capacity. I have also forged new connections. I just never saw that I can also nurture relationships by reaching out and ask for help. I’ve been brought up to “work hard, depend on yourself and excel.” Asking for help does not come naturally to me, so to ask for help is a big area of growth for me.
As I looked back at the roller-coaster last few months, I can say that I’m very grateful to have reached out for help, and build strong connections with people who has contributed a great deal to my continued growth.
How A Mentor Helped Me Adapt My Message-to-Market
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world, all my training and coaching was postponed/cancelled. I was hit with anxiety – How am I going to be able to make money in my training and coaching business?
Thankfully, I found great business mentors in Melvin Soh and Josiah Tan. Melvin was quick to share with us what Covid-19 really meant for the changing dynamics of business. He helped me to identify opportunities that lay ahead, even if the world is facing health and economic challenges at an unprecedented scale. With that insight, instead of hitting the panic button, I was able to calmly pivot my business. Although I was essentially offering the same services – Leadership Communications Coaching and Speech Training, Melvin helped me to tweak how I communicated my offers to fill emerging market needs. As a result, I was able to clinch coaching projects early on during the Circuit Breaker period in Singapore, and was even busier than ever.
I was Feeling Burnt Out and Depressed, and This Mentor’s Advise Turn Things Around
By mid-June 2020, I had started feeling burnt out, becoming disillusioned about what’s going on around me. Being locked down for a few months now, I was unable to enjoy the things I used to enjoy, such as travelling, meeting up with friends. Things came to a head when a very dear friend of mine in Australia passed on, and I was not able to fly to Australia to see her for a last time. I fell into a mild depression.
It was thanks to a chat with a mentor in the U.S. Gary Hubbell that helped get me out of the funk. Gary has this uncanny ability to bring out the best in me. He simply said this,
“Reach out to make global connections, and bring your 100% into each of these. Your mind will be blown, your heart will be so full, and your spirits will soar!“
I am so glad I did as he suggested… Through those connections, I received referrals to work I never thought I would be doing during a pandemic:
Coached the senior leadership team of the Jakarta Office of a global bank
Work with the senior leadership team of a global fintech giant on my new topic “Executive Magnetism – How do develop a resonate leadership message”
Coached the China and Taiwan team of medical scientists of a global pharmaceutical giant
Facilitated focus group conversations across Asia-Pacific for an MNC in the beverage industry
Delivered Keynotes on “Empathetic Communications and Global Connections” to audiences in China, India and Sri Lanka.
Through these work, I reconnected with my deeper purpose in life – which is to give hope and healing to people by igniting their inner voice.
Why Reaching Out For Help Can Boost Mental Wellbeing All Around
When we reach out to others for help, we are also helping them to feel great. This is called the helpers’ high. Research in neuroscience has shown that helping others triggers impacts to our brain in many positive ways:
- Empathy: Helping requires one to put themselves in other people’s shoes, therefore, it builds the empathy muscles and mental processes to see things from fresh perspectives
- Mirror Neurons: Helping others is often a highly social activity, and the act of helping creates a positive feedback loop. When people watch someone helping others, it triggers mirror neurons in them, and make them want to do the same.
- The Happiness Trifecta: When we help others, our brains release oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine (also called the trifecta of happiness). These hormones have the effect of boosting our mood and counteract the effect of cortisol (the stress hormone).
The world is facing increasing amount of stress. Social isolations, paranoia about health, and anxiety about the loss of jobs from the economic fallout of the pandemic, are causing deteriorating mental wellness. Admitting that we don’t always have all the answers, and reaching out for help and accepting help can be the single most helpful action to boost ours, and others’ wellbeing.