Don't Go It Alone: Why It's Okay To Ask For A Little Assistance
It’s about time you realized the only reason I’m writing any of these blog posts is because I need help. That’s right, I am an imperfect individual whose reality is made up of an ongoing series of problems of which I am on a journey toward finding viable solutions for. You might think of me as a normal human being with a colorful, albeit relatable life, and I’m here to tell you that you might just be right.
Having said that, I’m here to admit something today and here it goes: I hate asking for help. There are few things harder for me than calling up someone I know who is fully capable of doing something I’m not, and asking them to help me. It’s not that it makes me feel defeated or disabled. It’s that I really really don’t like to burden people.
Which is crazy, honestly. Most of the time, providing help to someone in need is rewarding. Especially when it gives you the chance to do something you’re great at. Just imagine how cool the world would be if instead of all of us suffering through mundane tasks and situations we have zero talent for, everyone got help from people who legitimately enjoyed doing the things we hate?
For instance, I am irrationally afraid of numbers. I hate them and they cause me anxiety. Looking at numbers gives me an odd tightening sensation in my brain that makes me feel like one of those rubber clowns that if you squeeze it too hard, it’s creepy blue stretchy eyes pop out. Numbers cause me so much grief, that it’s nearly impossible for me to remember that some people love them. My sadistic grandfather actually finds sudoku RELAXING.
Likewise, it freaks me out that there might be regular people out walking around somewhere right now who hate the things that I enjoy such as the color pink, peanut butter, or the song Waterloo by ABBA.
The point is, I could feasibly never have to do math again if I would just ask for help once in a while. The prospect of which seems so surreal, that I had to write the following guide to why asking for help is a mandatory part of the process of your journey toward greatness.
You cannot do everything on your own:
You have one body, and four limbs if you’re lucky, and you cannot do every little thing that needs to be done. It’s impossible. Sometimes the steps I need to take to complete a big goal can make me feel like a one-man band, and I look like a jerk playing the drums with my legs while I blow into a hypothetical harmonica and squeeze two bull horns. Trust me, we both have a lot on our plates and we deserve to get to where we're going without the added stress of going it alone. Stop carrying everything all at once and take a load off, Fanny. We all need somebody to lean on.
You’ll get better results:
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? The cool news is, you can be a superhero right now today by asking someone to help you tackle all the things you’re struggling with. Back in high school, this kid asked me to help him illustrate a comic he wrote. He said he’d pay me $20, which was the cost of a jar of Manic Panic with money leftover for lunch in 2003, so I agreed to help him. He never paid me the $20, but he got a pretty slick-looking comic out of me, which makes him the superhero and me a chump. The moral of the story is that you can borrow talented peoples skillsets to elevate your own projects into infinity and beyond, giving super powers to personal goals (just please pay people and credit them properly, okay?).
You save time:
Doing everything takes FOREVER. I should know, I’m the slowest at most things because I’m always doing too many of them on my own. If I could clone myself into three people, I could get three times as much done in one afternoon. This prospect intrigues me. Luckily, asking capable non-clones for help is a lot less risky and makes for better conversation.
You learn to get along with others:
I am an only child who lives alone with two cats. You might say I hate people, and on a particularly bad day you’d be right. Really though, I find people as fascinating as I do frustrating. I like things done a certain way, and I can feel my eyeball twitch when I’m not seeing that happen. What I need to learn is that life is no fun if you can’t work well with others. It’s lonely and isolating to avoid people because they think a little differently than you. Anyhow, who said you were the expert? Bring a new mindset in to assist you in your goals, and you may be surprised at the fresh perspective they bring to the table.
You might learn a thing or two:
Don’t be afraid to get help from people who you feel are smarter than you. Truly, no one is smarter than the next person. Our individual genius manifests in different ways, which is why I can do a convincing impersonation of Helen Kane, but I'm seemingly incapable of learning to swim. I’d be great entertainment at your next Gatsby-theme party, but please don’t throw it on a boat.
Asking for help is a great way to get a hands-on lesson in the things you’d like to get better at. It doesn’t mean you have to gear up to eventually be doing the things on your own, but it does provide you with a foundation of knowledge around an unfamiliar topic to ensure you know how to ask for help more effectively in the future– and that's a destination we're all headed for.