It’s OK to ask for help

It’s OK to ask for help

Asking for help is often seen as a sign of weakness or incompetence, but it can be a valuable tool for personal and professional growth. I look back at my life and see missed opportunities because I created walls around me which prevented me from asking for help. I should have asked for help from my Head of Department about my career path when I started teaching 19 years ago. I should have asked for help when I was overworked but decided to take work home with me which had an impact on my family life. I should have asked for help just to get a second opinion and gather thoughts. I should have asked more.

Trying to figure things out on your own can be time-consuming and exhausting. By seeking help, we can get the answers we need quickly and efficiently. From my experience asking for help can:

1.    Build Relationships: Asking for help can help establish connections with others and build relationships. When you ask someone for their expertise or knowledge, you are showing that you trust and value their opinion, which can lead to stronger professional or personal relationships.

2.    Promotes Learning: Seeking help can be a great learning opportunity. Not only can you learn from the person you ask for help, but also from the process of seeking out information or assistance.

3.    Fosters Collaboration: Asking for help can lead to collaboration and teamwork. Working with others to solve a problem or complete a task can lead to new ideas and approaches, as well as a sense of shared ownership in the outcome.

4.    Improve Mental Health: Asking for help can also have positive effects on mental health. It can help reduce stress and anxiety and provide a sense of relief and support.

The visionary late Steve Jobs talks about his experience of asking for help and how people have helped him along life journey. In a 2015 interview, Jobs talked about how asking for help was a key factor in his success. He said, “Most people never ask, and that’s what separates the people who do things from the people who just dream about them.” Jobs has also talked about how his early experiences at Hewlett-Packard (HP) helped shape his approach to seeking out help. In another interview, he said, “I called up Bill Hewlett and he gave me the job that changed my life. I learned more from him than anyone else.”

Asking for help is not a weakness, but rather a strength. In the right context it can help build relationships, promote learning, foster collaboration, and improve mental health. So don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, as it can be a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.

In this context, I am here to ask for help but also offer help if anyone needs it. All you have to do is ask.

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