Thursday, May 16, 2013


The best piece of advice I received during my undergrad studies was "don't be afraid to ask for help". I apparently have a problem with that. It is not a new problem since I am reminded regularly by my family that as a child I would often protest, "I can do it myself". I blame my less-than-perfect book smarts partially/mostly on my inability to ask for help.

Somewhere along the line it was engraved in my head that asking for help wasn't great. For me there is a very fine, almost invisible, line between asking for help and cheating. I find defeat in having to ask for help for some reason. As absurd as I know that must sound to you, it's another obstacle I face in life.

My professional career has proved this philosophy somewhat wrong and somewhat right. Let me explain.

I can ask for help on things I know I can't solve reasonably on my own. On the other hand, I'd rather struggle a little to solve something I know I can so that next time I can do it [better] on my own instead of having to ask for help every time.

At work when I am on the production floor, any physical labor I do is stopped by someone asking if I need help. #1 I am greatly appreciative that people are willing to help me. #2 Sometimes I want to do it myself. Of course a 130lb woman is going to have problems moving a 400lb pallet of soft starters around, but I'd still like to try. Of course a tiny high school girl is going to struggle to productively swing a 20lb sledgehammer through a kitchen counter, but it is still a story my family likes to tell, and I am proud.  I guess this is all part of my determination as well, but I just hate being thought of as not capable.

Help is good and the sooner I realize that and use it beneficially, I think the more successful I could be. The dictionary gives many good definitions of help, all positive.

My brother once told me that most people enjoy providing help. Being able to help someone shows their need for you and it is a good feeling being needed.

So, I am determined to ask for help more often when necessary.

"My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:2

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