There is a stigma in business of asking others for help. You’re hired for a job and in that moment you feel as if you’re expected to know every facet of it, and if you don’t they’ll see through the illusion…that you don’t know what you’re doing.
This expands beyond first jobs as well and into planning your future or diverging into a new career completely. More than likely (99.9%) there’s someone that’s done it before and will have valuable insight for you, but still you feel as if you have to go it alone.
Where does this all begin? This idea that we need to know it all and do it all on our own?
My family and I went to a holiday extravaganza at our local high school today. There were booths to decorate cookies, color holiday drawings, make hats, sudo-stockings out of paper bags and Santa was there. One of the projects was to build a little tool box, with pre-cut wood, nails and a hammer. My son was struggling, trying to hold all the pieces together, position the nails and swing the hammer at the right angle. I watched and tried to offer help in as minimal way as possible, positioning my hand on the table so he could butt the wood up against it and give him some leverage, but even this was too much. He wanted to do it by himself. And he did, and I am very proud.
But it made me think of all the times that I was struggling and help was there and I didn’t take it because I wanted to do it on my own, whether from pride or stubbornness or perhaps a want to get credit for the whole job instead of sharing the spotlight. Why was it so important to do it all by myself? Why was it so importnat for my son?
There are so many resources available to us, especially in the connected world we live in, to accelerate our learning and ease our path to the goals we set for ourselves. One of the best ways I’ve heard it expressed is in reference to professional athletes. Once they hit the big time do they sit back and say “I got this.” No. They continue to look to the coach to help them refine and better themselves. Sometimes they have multiple coaches helping them with different parts of the physical attributes they need to hone while also having coaches that can help with visualization and mental challenges we all face.
Being the best you can at whatever you choose to do takes hard work and determination and as I’ve said multiple times now, starting followed by consistency, but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. You have to have that internal drive to push yourself, to do your best, and to keep going, but find a good mentor, find an online community for support, or find a coach and you’ll up your chance at success.
“Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.”
– Pete Carroll, football coach