“I don’t know what to do, I’ve tried everything!” This technical problem had been going on for a few days and I was totally stumped. Solving technical problems is what I do all day long so I should be able to handle this. Not this time…..
Calls to multiple vendors and knowledge base searches didn’t bring me any closer. My confidence was waning by the hour and I was feeling lost and confused at the same time. I kept being very hard on myself “You should know this, now focus!”
The problem was too large to contain and soon enough my manager politely involved more people. I appreciated the help, but didn’t want someone else fixing this for me. Pride, ego or whatever, I wanted to be the one to solve this.
We reviewed everything and it was a bit satisfying to see everyone still stumped. Ha, I’m not as dumb as I thought. As we continued, I had an idea for a solution which actually fixed the issue. Finally!!
What a feeling of relief to have that problem behind me and also a little satisfaction of implementing the solution. I felt as if a huge weight had just been lifted.
The relief had yet to sink in when my manager came by with the following perfectly timed words: “You should ask for help next time. If you try to solve those things on your own, you’ll go crazy. There’s a team here, let them help you”.
He was right and I knew it. As an only child, I’m used to going it on my own. I pride myself, yeah there’s that word, on being able to handle whatever comes my way. When I can’t, I feel like I’m, weak, dumb, or lacking something that everyone else has.
Too often I don’t ask for help because I think others will view me as less capable, I think I’ll lose credibility or I’m too proud to admit I don’t know. Yet, if I don’t know and don’t ask, how else am I going to learn it?
This situation was a great reminder of an important lesson. Whether it’s a heartfelt prayer, asking a friend to stay during a time of need, or just a simple “can you hold this”, we all need a little help from time to time and it’s perfectly ok to ask for it.
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