Asking for help has never been my strong suit. Needing help left me vulnerable to ridicule and meant I was too stupid to figure it out on my own, so I always just did my best to figure out the answers by myself…
In recent years I have been learning to be real about myself, which meant having to get honest and admit out loud that I don’t know everything. Additionally, I had to admit that I’m not actually stupid either — even if I have to ask for help. Since the best way to learn and grow is by taking risk in a safe environment, I did what every parent of highly computerized Millennials eventually learns to do. I started asking Google.
Google is safe. Google doesn’t laugh at people for asking obvious questions (although at first I did wonder if somewhere out there in Cyber-land someone was laughing hysterically at me). Google doesn’t ridicule or make fun of me. Google doesn’t purposely give me incorrect information just to see me fail. Google gives answers, and most of the time the answers are pretty good. Google was one of the first safe places where I could ask questions and since it was a success, I was able to step into deeper risk.
Trusting a real live human being was more difficult. Again I played it safe and on the recommendation of a friend, I asked the Associate Pastor at church for help with my resumé. Sirens blaring, I went into his office and told him my deep, dark, scary job history and about my tendency to just let jobs land in my lap out of fear and lack of belief that anyone would want to hire me. All I could do was pray that he wouldn’t laugh me out of his office. Turns out he had confidence in my abilities after seeing me work at the church and helped me to put those abilities on paper in the form of my resumé. Chalk another one up for the “safe help” team.
Most recently, I risked asking for help in front of a room full of people…
It was a summer class series called Unlimited , the focus being overcoming the limiting beliefs that hold us back from doing the things we dream of doing. Since I dream of REALLY being a writer (please don’t laugh) and maybe even getting paid to write someday, writing was my focus and I needed help getting a better understanding of my website. Trusting one human being is scary enough. Trusting a ROOM FULL of people to listen to my dream and not start laughing at the fact that I needed computer help was terrifying and when someone stepped up to offer help, I struggled to believe they were serious.
Chris and his wife met me at a coffee shop yesterday, where we spent the better part of two hours together enjoying coffee, tea and conversation. I asked questions and learned from a virtual stranger about how to take care of my website. And guess what… It was safe. Thank you, Chris, for being willing to help — no judgement and no strings attached. The world needs more people like you!
I am grateful.