When I was sixteen years old, my Father knocked hard on my bedroom door. He opened the door just enough to poke his head inside, and said: "meet me in the garage." I wasn't sure why he was asking me to meet him in the garage and I started to reply "but.." he interrupted "now, Christopher."
Uh oh, I thought. This is going to be interesting.
When I got into the garage I could see Dad gathering little orange cones and piling them in his trunk. "Dad, I'm still not sure why you ..." He replied, "Get in the car."
I pressed "Dad, what are we doing?" This time he stopped what he was doing, turned to face me, took a deep breath and said: "We're going to the High School to practice parallel parking." I began to object, "Dad, I don't need help..." He cut me off "Christopher, you failed your driving test, you need help, get in the car."
That was twenty-six years ago, and it still both annoys me and makes me smile.
It annoys me because I thought I had it all figured out. It makes me smile because my Dad knew that I needed help. He also knew that I would most likely never ask for help on my own. I would have most likely failed my driving test again had he not forced his help upon me.
How silly that we still find ourselves acting like stubborn sixteen-year-olds? We're all adults, and yet we still don't ask for help.
What happens when you don't ask for help?
- When you don't ask for help, you set yourself up for failure.
By letting your ego get in the way, and avoiding asking for help, you allow for misinformation to flow into your life. You will set yourself up to fail. You won't have clarity. A lack of focus and lack of clarity will cloud and complicate your life. You will deal with the froth of misinformation and confusion.
- When you don't ask for help, you can move forward without all the information you need to win.
By avoiding clarity and expert direction you place yourself clearly in the camp of the misinformed. This is a recipe for disaster whether it be your career or personal life.
- When you don't ask for help, you can alienate yourself from your spouse, colleagues, family, and friends.
When you don't have clarity you get bogged down. When you get bogged down, you can't be your best self. When you're not your best self your career and personal life will suffer. Don't suffer. Please ask for help.
What happens when you do ask for help?
- When you ask for help, you look stronger than if you don't.
Humble yourself and dispel your need to be perfect. The best answer you can give someone if you don't know an answer to a question is "I don't know." There is no reason, why you need to make up an answer, or "fake it til you make it."
- When you ask for help, you offer clarity to different situations and you avoid disaster.
When you allow yourself to let go of your irrational need to be right, you will add a new layer of clarity in your life. By seeking clarity in every situation you will function on a new level of personal clarity. As a result, simplifying every aspect of your life.
- When you ask for help, you endear yourself to people and show your humanity. You connect on a deeper level.
Here is the irony of asking for help. People love to help. When you ask someone to help, you telling them so much. You're telling them that you're not too proud to inquire. That you're not stubborn. That you're open to new ideas, new information and new ways of thinking. Pretty incredible.
So the next time you're not completely certain about something, try a different tact and ask for help.
You won't regret it, I promise.