Its Okay to Ask for Help


“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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