Getting By (With A Little Help)

From the time I was a little girl I’ve hated asking for help.

Homework, special projects, hobbies; as long as I had the materials and tools I tried to figure it out for myself.

Now that I’m (mostly) grown up, I’m starting to learn the value of asking for help.

I’m learning that asking for help doesn’t mean you are flawed, incapable, or inept.  In fact, I’m learning that NOT asking for help is a weakness, and that it can hold you back personally and professionally if you don’t get over it.

Recently, my rockstar friend Tzaddi shared a tidbit from her experience of working with Pam Slim (if you don’t know who Pam is, look her up, especially if you’re an entrepreneur).  Tzaddi confided that she has the same block about asking others for help that I do; we both feel like we’re bothering the person we’re requesting assistance from.  Pam asked Tzaddi to think about how it made her feel when someone asked her for help and she was able to help them.

[insert epiphany here]

Think about it.

When someone reaches out to you, asks for help, and you are able to help them – how do you feel?

Like a rockstar, right?

Hearing that anecdote made such a difference in how I view asking for help – that’s why I’m sharing it here (thanks Tzaddi!).

I’m not suggesting that it’s suddenly gotten easier for me to ask for assistance, but keeping Pam Slim’s question in mind when I’m psyching myself up to ask for help certainly makes me feel less blocked.

A week ago I got help (from Tzaddi 🙂 ) in the form of a tip for working in Photoshop.  It would have taken me several hours to figure out how to do what I needed to do on my own.  In a couple of minutes Tzaddi talked me through the process and, BAM!, frustration and a major block in my workflow disappeared.

I’ll bet sharing that simple solution made Tzaddi feel good…and it sure made me see her as a rockstar (yet again).

Truth is – and I know you’ve heard it before – nobody who reaches great heights ever gets there solely on their own steam; many people help lift you up along the way.  You have to let people help you reach your goals.

[Hmm, this is starting to sound like Amanda Palmer’s recent TED talk.  ASKING must be in the air!  Which is good.  Means it may finally start to sink in to my stubborn skull.]

What do you need help with?  Here’s your chance to ask!  Have you helped someone recently?  What was the experience like?  Please share in the comments below.

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