Here's a common problem I've noticed over the years: We don't want to ask for help when we're working on challenges, issues and goals.
We think we have to always go it alone. We feel that we should be an island, a rock and never need any help. We think that asking another person for help or support makes us look weak, incompetent or stupid.
Or sometimes we don't ask for help because we think we might bother someone. We make assumptions that they don't even want to help us. And so, we trudge along on our own, not making much progress. We carry all the burden and we think that we have to figure it out all on our own.
We end up stumbling around in circles, stuck with our own thought patterns, habits and way of doing things.
We don't know what we don't know and that makes it hard to see new paths, new ways of doing things and new solutions.
Ask for help when you need it. Don't feel stupid when asking for help. Asking for help doesn't mean you're weak or not capable.
By asking for help, you're creating a partnership or mentorship, even if it's just a quick email, phone call or in-person question. This connection is someone who is offering you insight or skills that you don't currently have.
Many people actually enjoy helping others and they would love to help you with your business, your projects, or even a personal issue or stressful event that you're going through.
Don't forget to respect people's time when you ask them for help. Be appreciative of them. Thank them for their time. Don't use them or waste their time, or it might be the last time they help you out.
It's good to remember that we can become skilled in something faster by leveraging all the time and experience that other people have already invested.
If I want to get better at a skill that's important to me, I should seek out a teacher or mentor. They've already walked down the path that I'm on but they're much further down the path than I am.
I like being efficient and saving myself time and hassle so I'm always willing to learn from a more experienced person.
The temptation for many of us is to claim (and show) that we're special, important and that we have to always be in control and that we never make mistakes. This mindset blocks us from asking for help and impedes our growth.
The more arrogant or egotistical we are, the more dangerous we are to other people and to ourselves.
When we're arrogant, we won't admit mistakes. We place our needs above others, even when it might cause them harm. We don't learn (because we think we are already "experts").
Arrogance really is insecurity in disguise.
Luckily, we can turn this around by practicing humility and having "Beginner's mind", which is a Zen Buddhism reference that means "having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would."
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities,
but in the expert's, there are few." -Shunryu Suzuki (1905-1971)
Practicing humility will get us to our goals faster. This is the way to become deeply skilled in something.
Asking for help makes you stronger, not weaker.
Do you find it difficult to ask for help sometimes? What's been causing that, in your case? Let me know in the comments below.