After leaving my corporate career and embarking on my own business as a therapist and later, career coach, writer and speaker, I had to make the huge shift from receiving a regular paycheck to generating consistent revenue by offering services and programs that help professionals thrive.

In the beginning of that journey, even though I had been a marketing VP and thought I knew a lot, there was so much I didn’t know about entrepreneurial success. I began to realize that I’d have to invest a good deal of time, money and effort in getting outside help if I were to be successful, including receiving marketing guidance, virtual assistance, branding, web development, course launch help, etc. During the past 13 years, I’ve often resisted and waited far too long to get help, and the results were disastrous. I’d offer myself a lot of reasons why I didn’t really need the help or how I could figure it all out on my own. But in the end, it became crystal clear that if I didn’t get the necessary assistance, my business would die on the vine very quickly.

In working with thousands of professionals from around the world, I’ve heard virtually every reason you can imagine why people won’t move forward to get or hire the outside help they know they need. While some of these reasons are very obvious (money, time, effort, etc.), many of these (dare I say “excuses” in some cases) are outside of people’s awareness – meaning, they actually have no idea the realreasons behind their reluctance and fear about getting help.

To learn more about the top reasons we don’t invest in our own growth or obtain the help we need when we know it’s crucial, I conducted an informal survey on LinkedIn this week. The post generated over 49,000 views and 71 comments at the time of this writing.

I asked this:

Please share the one TOP reason that you elect NOT to invest either time or money in getting outside help, coaching, consulting, advising, training, and other support when you know you must.  And if you DON’T get the help you need, what do you believe the consequences will be? Thank you.

After analyzing the feedback, I found that the comments offered there mirrored exactly what I’ve heard over the years. And what emerged was a reflection of the 8 top reasons people most frequently give (to themselves and to others) for not moving forward to invest in a wide variety of outside support when they know they need it.

These top eight reasons are:

1. Money/cost/investment

Money, cost and financial investment are the top reasons people give for not getting help. They either don’t have the funds to invest, or they do have the money, but they’re worried about the return on investment, or the lack of guarantees on the money spent, and what it will ultimately cost them to get assistance.

While this is absolutely a legitimate concern for many, I’ve also seen that when we dig deeper to uncover core beliefs, there are numerous subconscious fears and worries that underlie the money concern that keep people from moving forward. Often, individuals suffer from a deep-rooted worthiness problem, and they lack the self-esteem, confidence, and internal commitment necessary to move forward towards their highest goals and dreams. (Read on below for more about subconscious blocks that hold people back from getting help they need.)

2. Time/timing

The second most frequent reason I hear for why people don’t obtain outside help is that the time investment required seems too great, and/or the timing feels off because of the other commitments, projects and demands the individual is facing at the time that make it feel too hard to commit to getting help.

3. Inability to tell the good from the bad

Many people have shared that there is so much out there in the world today that is fake and false –  unethical people claiming to be “experts” who actually know nothing about what they’re offering, and others who are just trying to take our money and don’t have the ability to help us at the level we need. Folks have shared that they don’t feel equipped to discern the credible experts from those who can’t deliver on their promises. Just because someone has a slick website doesn’t mean they have expertise. I have witnessed this daily in my own field as well – scores of people looking good online and pretending to have great experience and capabilities to support positive growth in others, but in reality, they have nothing of the kind.

4. No trust or faith in the outcomes

The fourth reason for not getting help is that people have grown intensively skeptical of promises made by service providers on the internet. Their trust or faith in the idea that there will be positive outcomes has been shattered, either from a past experience (“I’ve been burned so badly!”) or because the promises seem too good to be true. One fellow shared, “I’m looking for a map to how these people will help me and the methodologies they’ll be teaching and using, but I’m not seeing it.” People want to be shown exactly how this outside helper will support their goals, and they’re concerned that the investment simply won’t pay off and they’ll get ripped off.

5. Personal pride (“I should do/know this myself.”)

This reason revolves around an inner belief that we should not need any help to be successful, and that asking for help is weak or reveals vulnerability. Often, this mindset is rooted in a person’s programming they received in childhood, where parents or other authority figures instilled in the child a misguided and damaging notion that we should rely only on ourselves, and that admitting to needing help is admitting to failure.

6. Not knowing where to begin to look

I’ve seen that this reason is responsible for holding so many people back from finding the right therapist, mental health provider, coach and many other critical personal and professional resources they need. Often, we simply don’t know where to begin to look for a great therapist, for instance, or to find a reliable, trustworthy financial consultant, lawyer, mediator, doctor, etc. The seriousness of our problems coupled with our overwhelm at where to begin to find good help keeps us paralyzed, doing nothing.

7. The goals of the outside helper aren’t aligned with our own goals

I’ve experienced this reason myself numerous times – whereby the goals that I wanted to achieve in my business and work-life didn’t seem to be meshing with the goals that these top “experts” said I should want. In other words, outside help often promotes certain practices that “experts” say are the “right” way, when in the end, these practices can feel wrong and out of sync with our own intrinsic values, needs and desires.

8. A relentless feeling of incompetency/inadequacy

Finally, this reason – a deep and chronic feeling of incompetency and inadequacy  – keeps people from asking for help because they’re embarrassed and ashamed at where they are. And they don’t have the confidence to believe that they can act effectively on the advice they’re given. This feeling of inadequacy prevents individuals from admitting outwardly that they need help, and stops them from “finding brave” to go out and get it. Deep down, they feel flawed somehow, that they “should” be doing much better in their life and their business, and it’s too painful and humiliating to admit how much trouble they’re facing. Sadly, that feeling of  inadequacy keeps them from getting the very help they need to shift and improve their situation.

Categories: Uncategorized


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *