WordPress daily writing prompt: Is it easy for you to ask for help when you need it, or do you prefer to rely only on yourself? Why? Click here (I am a rock) to read other interpretations of today’s prompt.
I am a rock, I know that. There have been many times that I have relied solely on myself to get something done. It is much more fun though, to work with and through other people. I learn something new every time I do this.
The other side of the coin of being a rock, is the proverbial “no man/woman is an island”. I know I am not an island, and I have no issue with asking for help. Or with others asking for help.
The article on Inc.com 5 Mistaken Beliefs About Asking for Help evaluates five assumptions about why it is so difficult for people to ask for help (extract below):
Assumption 1: It’s a sign of weakness. If I can’t do it on my own, I must not know how to do it or I don’t have the skills or resources to do it.
Assumption 2: Allowing someone else to help me means I lose control of the situation.
Assumption 3: If I receive support then I have to reciprocate. What if I can’t return the favor? What if I don’t want to return the favor?
Assumption 4: If I ask for the support of others, I am burdening them. They are just as busy as me so how could they find the time to help out?
Assumption 5: I am the only one that can do it my way. It’s easier and quicker for me to do it than to train or teach someone else to help me.
The article goes on to explain reasons why “Leaders who are aware, conscious, continuously growing personally and professionally, and who courageously ask for and openly receive support are stronger”.
Every person is a leader. You do not have to be managing people or organisations to be a leader – everyone is a self-leader.
Here are my counter arguments to the above five assumptions people tend to make (go on over to the Inc.com article to read others):
- In a world where perfection is still something many cultures prize highly, asking for help shows strength and courage. Perfection is a myth because by its very nature, it will never be reached. So strive for the best of yourself in all that you do.
- Asking for help is a way for you to maintain control of the situation. You will quickly lose control if someone decides that you are not capable of doing something. They could take it away from you and give it to someone else they think can handle it.
- Well, if that floats your boat then so be it. That is however, no reason not to ask for help. Many people help because they like doing it without expecting anything in return. Many people will probably end up learning something from you. By all means pay it forward – help someone else.
- It does not hurt to ask for help. It is not fair to second guess the other person – you do not know what they are thinking – if you did you would be a mind-reader and a very rich ($$$$) person indeed. Let the other person decide for themselves if they want or have the time to help you. Often the busiest people are the ones that are most willing to help others.
- Well, if this is the case then you are effectively closing yourself up to learning something new. I tweeted something this afternoon and I had no idea that I would be using it in this post – creativity expert, Ken Robinson says ” If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.” It applies quite nicely here, because whoever is going to help you will be challenging your reasons for doing something is a particular way.
One of my mantras is “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.”
Heroes get burnt at the stake. I know it is reaching a bit, and sometimes heroes do get recognised. There is a time and place to be a rock. Just learn to recognise when that serve you and others, and when it will not, and ask for help.