Ask for Help

The further we progress in our career, the more stigma there seems to be around asking for help. We end up doing things like agreeing to something on the spot without asking follow-up or clarification questions, because we don’t want to risk looking like we don’t know something. We’ll just take time later to go figure out the answers on our own, we tell ourselves.

We make believe that we must protect our reputation and avoid ever looking like we don’t have the answers, because that might mean that we don’t have the capability to figure it out on our own. We believe that asking for help will expose us as the fraud that we really are, and that everyone will discover we’ve been faking it this whole time.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is that, when approached sensibly and in the right moment, asking for help makes you stronger.

Insecurity and a lack of confidence cause us to view those we interact with as default-hostile; as though everyone is looking for a weakness, so that they can pounce and expose us as a fraud. Depending on your circumstances, those around you may have varying levels of hostility, but more often than not our fears are a complete fabrication, born out of our own feelings of inadequacy.

A better approach is to be open and teachable and always eager to learn. To seek out every possible chance to learn something new from someone else. The advantage of this approach is that, when you do encounter someone who is hostile, you will have the benefit of a wealth of learning opportunities in the past to lean on.

Instead of hoarding knowledge and viewing those you interact with as a threat, learn a new mindset: View every challenge as an opportunity to learn something that you didn’t know before. View every teaching opportunity as a chance to multiply your knowledge, and to rise to the level of mentor.

And always be on the lookout for the ugly lies of insecurity; giving in to those lies is a surefire way to stunt your personal/professional growth, and to ruin your chances of forming valuable relationships with others.