DEAR HARRIETTE: I have an inability to ask for help, stemming from my childhood. It always makes me feel like I am either a burden or weak. Although I have identified this problem in myself, I do not know how to fix it. The obvious answer is to simply admit I need help, but my pride and fear of damaging my reputation always leave me silently struggling alone. How can I work toward admitting my flaws at home and in the workplace? -- Admitting Weaknesses, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR ADMITTING WEAKNESSES: I get that you are concerned about who to talk to about how to strengthen your skills and ask for help. You should be mindful about this. At the same time, it is clear that you must now look for a few allies. Who are the people in your world who would support you without questions or doubts? They definitely exist. You need to look once more to determine who they might be, and then reach out one by one to forge stronger bonds.
Please know that we all doubt ourselves at times, many times, and it is important to have someone you can trust to support you even in dark times. I also recommend that you consider therapy. A mental health professional may be able to support you the best through this period, as this person is trained to help people navigate tough emotional situations, and he or she is not part of your personal life.