Friday, September 9, 2016

Sometimes, all you have to do is ask

Simple, right? Yet, how many of us still hesitate to ask for help when we need it?  Why? Maybe we’re embarrassed that we don’t already know the answers; maybe pride gets in the way; we don’t want to bother anyone; we think we should be able to figure it out ourselves; we don’t want to impose, blah, blah, blah. Lame excuses.

The reality is that most people are more than willing to help. But you have to ask. Instead of the time and productivity wasted on futile attempts to figure it out yourself and the frustration that goes with it, ask. The outcome could surprise you or at least leave you shaking your head wondering why you waited so long to reach out.

Here’s my example for the week; not earth shaking, but an example. A few years ago, I entered the world of Fantasy Football without a clue. It wasn’t that I don’t know football; just didn’t know Fantasy Football. The logical thing would be to ask for help. But, noooo. I didn’t need help; I’d figure it out myself. WRONG. Two miserable seasons later and I still hadn’t learned. It took getting a “D” on my draft selection report card before it hit me – get help.  Overachievers don’t deal well with “D”s.

The league commissioner happens to be my cousin. He graciously schooled me on the fine points of the game; making trades, projected points, what those little yellow text boxes mean and more. I am enlightened and my team’s projected points for the week went up by 30. This season’s looking a little brighter. I thanked him for helping me and he said, “I told you before if you needed help all you had to do was ask.”

How many times in business do we not ask for help? We sit in silence and frustration hoping that answers and solutions will just magically appear. We sabotage our progress, increase our anxiety and make things 100 times more difficult. None of us is expected to know everything. Asking for help is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength, a willingness to learn, to grow, to keep moving forward, to stay competitive and be successful.

And, that’s a fact.

Posted by MJ Thomas

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