Admit it: You need help

Byby Deborah Brown-Volkman
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Job Journal

SACRAMENTO (JobJournal) -- Are you someone who readily asks for help or do you prefer to figure it out on your own?

What's the difference? One way makes your career development easier and the other unnecessarily prolongs the process when you run into problems along the way.

Ask yourself this: "If someone asked me for help, would I be willing to try?" Most people would say yes. So, if you are okay helping someone else, why wouldn't you let someone else help you?

No individual is an island; we are not meant to toil or struggle in isolation. On the contrary, human history is rich with great accomplishments made possible by cooperation and the assistance of others. Imagine the potential if you let that reality guide your approach to problem solving. Your entire career (and life) could be completely transformed. And you would have a clearer pathway to solving your problems and reaching your goals.

If you've had trouble asking for help in your career, here are three suggestions to transform your thinking.

Accept That Asking for Help is Okay

Most of us do not like to ask for help. We like to do everything on our own and prefer to tackle challenges without assistance. We tend to view ourselves as strong individuals and see asking for help as a sign of weakness. We worry how we will be viewed if we ask for help. Maybe our request will bother the person we are asking or paint us in a negative light.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it simply means that we thought through an idea or challenge and were not able to resolve it alone. We recognized that the wisest course was to seek someone else's help with the process. The clich, "two heads are better than one," has been around for hundreds of years with good reason. Help makes everything easier.

Recognize That Getting Help is a Good Thing

Getting help from others means your career challenges will be solved more quickly. Imagine no longer having to struggle on your own; no longer having only one perspective; no longer worrying needlessly about what is going to happen next. You might be pleasantly surprised to find champions on your side who believe in you and want to help. Even if the people you ask for assistance are unable to help, they could still be a valuable sounding board for your ideas. It never hurts to have a second or third opinion when you are in a situation that seems difficult or overwhelming.

Realize That Asking for Help is Courageous, not Cowardly

It takes courage to ask for help. You don't know what the other person is going to say; you are taking a leap of faith. You are opening up your heart and your mind to another person in hopes of getting some resolution. It's a strong statement that your goal is important to you and you are committed to achieving it. You are ready to take action and move forward despite the uncertainty. That makes you courageous: going for what you want and leaving fear behind; not worrying about what someone may think or how you may be judged.

Courage to ask for help is among the traits that will make you successful. Courage will help you reach your goals. So, what do you say? You only have one life to live - it might as well be a life you love!

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