Some weeks, I imagine what would happen if I had a hidden camera in my office. You would all be appalled to watch me move from one distraction to the next, carefully avoiding the one thing that I really need to get done.
“Jeez,” you would say, “Why can’t she just stop distracting herself and DO THE TASK?”
I would agree with you. Then, if I were smart, I would ask you for help.
I have learned that I get in a specific pattern of resistance when it comes to starting a new piece of work. Once I have an outline, then it is easier to come in and flesh out the details.
This happens because I get stubborn, and forget to ask for help. I like to think of myself as a strong and independent woman. I should be able to create masterpieces by myself, right?
Asking for help is a core attribute of successful entrepreneurs.
If you have staff, like I am proud that I do now (Sheila Sanders, my full-time assistant, started at my office three weeks ago), it becomes imperative to ask for help and delegate as much as possible. I am used to having a meeting with peers, and saying things like:
“I will take a first crack at an outline, then get back to you.”
“I need to think about what the proper steps are to this process, then we can work on it.”
Now I am training myself to say:
“Why don’t you take a crack at an outline, then get back to me.”
“Why don’t you brainstorm the proper steps to this process, then we can work on it together.”
And perhaps most importantly, if I am starting a new project and begin to feel Resistance rise in my throat, I say:
“Help! I am really stuck and frustrated. I don’t know what to do. I am drowning. Can you help me?”
Sometimes people say “But I don’t have anyone on my team, how can I ask for help?”
I think that is a cop-out.
You have friends and colleagues who would probably help you in a heartbeat. In fact, you probably help people all the time, and they are just waiting for a chance to pay you back for your kindness.
“I have asked people for help before, and they were either too busy, or their advice didn’t help.”
Fine. Ask someone else. Sooner or later, you will find the right people in your circle.
I offer a free coaching call the first Wednesday of the month, and have for years. Those who show up and ask for help, get help. Those who don’t, don’t.
“Let me not be so vain to think that I am the sole author of my victories, and a victim of my defeats.”
If your dreams have meaning, if they are significant and challenging and worth it, chances are, you can’t accomplish them alone.
Ask for help.