I have written many posts and filmed many videos about how to do a variety of different things from learning to use a camera to fixing a hacked website. Giving back to the internet community that has given me so much is very important to me. I enjoy helping others. However, working for yourself can be quite lonely at times, so can being a husband and a parent.
This year I have had to ask for help in a variety of different ways. I have had to ask for help with work, with parenting, and with my marriage. It has been a tough year. I fought asking for help up until this point and I am still working on why that was the case.
It’s easy to travel the path alone, especially with so much information at our fingertips. We can carve our own path using information and insight from others who have gone before us. The problem is that we often end up implementing that information incorrectly or not having the complete picture. Think about the Pinterest perfect recipe you downloaded that resulted in a direct hit to your confidence level as a novice chef. We take the information made available but lack the years of experience needed to pull it off.
In working with clients, I have found that when I lack information to perform a task for them, asking for help or assistance is the best option. Some people fake it until they figure it out. I prefer asking for the information needed. Other areas in life I have not been good at asking for help. I have not asked for much if any help with my business, my marriage, and with my kids. I have relied on information gathered from books, blogs, or podcasts. Gathering information from sources such as those is not wrong, but you often don’t have the right context to implement it. Sometimes it lines up and works perfectly, most of the time it seems like something out of right field.
Growing up I always felt that I needed to fight to overcome any weakness others saw in me. I was ok at sports, not the best, but not the worst. Most of my family did not see me as the child most likely to succeed. My grades in school were average. I already felt that I was at a disadvantage so asking for help made me feel like I was showing my weakness.
Most believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. I definitely did, and at times I still do. Asking for help, however, is a sign of humility. Often humility feels like weakness because it requires letting others in. The truth is that it takes a lot of courage to ask for help when you need it.
The other issue with our world today is that it is easy to make it seem like you have it all figured out. We handcraft our social media feeds to show a carefully curated life of success and good times. It is easy to believe that you are alone in your struggles, which is so far from the truth. I believe this is why dramatic television shows are popular. These tv shows are displaying real struggles that we can relate to and since we are not relating on a personal level with good friends, we find our acceptance in tv instead.
The path I started on this year is far from over. I am working on being better at asking for help when I need it and on building up a personal network of people that can be more than superficial friends. This was not modeled for me growing up so it has been and will continue to be hard work for me.
There is no valor in taking on unnecessary pain in life. We were put on this Earth together to be in community. My generation is the first generation where our network is not the people in our neighborhood, meaning we do not have people close to us that are literally close to us. When you are having a tough time with something, ask for help. The resources are limitless and I believe people are yearning for it more than ever.
What are your thoughts on asking for help? Do you have a good network of people around you that you can go to or that can go to you when they need help?