Clients pay me to solve their problems as part of my day job. I work as a project leader in a 350 person national consulting firm. At my disposal I have a team of individual with a variety of skillsets to be placed on projects so that they may best succeed. Think of it like assembling a Mission Impossible team. In both my job and my life, I’m mostly a jack-of-all trades and Master of few. Oh, I know some important things, but my strength comes from ability to think critically, solve problems when unexpected obstacles arise, and build up people. I’m also very self-reliant and frugal, so my “Go To” approach is to handle most things myself. But in many instances, asking for help is the right thing to do.
Regular readers have noticed a change on this site, as well as on my Great Life Vision (Life Coaching) site if you saw it on launch compared to more recently. As an example of needing help, and getting it, was webdesign. WordPress makes it really easy for anyone to launch a site, with all the free themes and plugins and support. But for the most part, those that are self-made (like mine were) look amateurish compared to those with flare and tweaking of a professional. Those changes may be minor in the grand scheme of things, but make a difference. When I launched this site, I had no idea where it was going. To some degree I still don’t, but know it needed help. Enter Jon at 4-7Inc. Despite being 1,000 miles away, we collaborated on thoughts and themes (both free and paid themes) both here at AMD and at the Great Life Vision Coaching site and he helped make them a reality. I’m far from a technical expert, so needed a fair amount of help and handholding. Based on my experiences, technical skills, and his other graphic design capabilities (book covers, logos, etc.) I’m hoping to keep him on my team as things continue to expand. I realized I need help, and it is money well spent for that service. Whether you are starting out or have an established site, I’d recommend 4-7Inc on helping you reach your goals (note – they aren’t an advertiser or affiliate, and I paid for this service, but I like to promote good people who are good at what they do and are easy to work with).
Which brings me to my thesis for today. Oftentimes we need help to get things to the next level in life or at work. We try to fight through this world like Armies of One, but in reality we are doing ourselves a disservice in several ways by not asking for help.
First off, helping others makes us feel good.
So when we do everything ourselves we are robbing someone of the opportunity to feel good and get those warm fuzzies. I’ve seen that look of disappointment in my own son’s face when he asks me if he can get me a water and I decline. He wants to help. Helping people is a purpose for us. I know that from both my day job and coaching, but sometimes forget.
Second, though we equate asking for help as showing or having weakness, it is not. We can not have all the skills for everything we do in life nor the time to do everything, and even if you can cobble something together, it is usually takes twice as long with half-assed results. Try getting knots worked out in your back without asking your wife. Try building a deck without asking for help from your friends. Try raising kids without help from family or friends. It just doesn’t work well, or if it does, it is very stressful.
When you ask for help, you build that bond with others as well.
It creates positive energy out of thin air, which is a good thing in this life. Your wife feels good for giving you a back rub to work those knots out, and so do you. Your friends and you have an experience together and accomplish manly things – maybe even with a story about how Rob bruised his thumb missing a nail. Your relationship with your neighbors or parents or friends are strengthened as you share child raising duties, and the kids learn some new perspectives.
Whether this help is free or paid for doesn’t matter, those feelings exist. I’m living that situation every day. Not only on the website, but other areas of improvements in my life. I’m asking for professional help with improving my kids’ soccer skills by paying coaches. I’m asking for professional help to improve on my sleeping by going to a sleep clinic. I’ve seen a therapist over past issues that were causing me issues in my current life. These things have happened and are happening every day. I let go of ego in assessing where I am and where I’d like to be, and if I need help, I ask. So should you. It’s not easy for me (I’m Mr. Self Reliant), but I do it anyway.
Sometimes our helpers find a simple solution that we ourselves miss because we are so close. It is really hard to read your own work and find flaws. It is really hard to be self-critical. But if we really want our life products to be top notch, we need to let go of ego and ask someone to help – to give it to us straight. It takes strength to ask for this help, moreso than you might believe if you’re used to doing everything yourself.
By trying to do everything ourselves, it is easy to create a martyr complex and have resentment towards others despite the fact that it’s your own fault. You feel like you are sacrificing and doing everything yourself (cleaning, raising kids, work projects, mowing the lawn), so you create this feeling of animosity toward your wife, or kids, or coworkers that is very unhealthy. All you have to do is give them a chance, and on the flip side of that coin, they are probably already helping out but you don’t notice or appreciate their contributions.
Not asking for help removes that chance to be vulnerable, to make that connection with others and often when you ask for help, you’re actually helping the other person :MindBlown:
I encourage you to ask for help for something you can do yourself. Ask your kids to help you on a project. Ask for help on a project you aren’t an expert on. Ask for help from your spouse. Chances are doing so you are giving a gift to them and strengthening that bond and both sides’ sense of accomplishment, while at the same time having an end product that is much better than if you did it yourself.