You would think after two decades learning about how I’ve been impacted by some of the alcoholic adults in my life that I would remember how to ask for help. But, as it turns out, I don’t think I could be reminded to ask for help too many times. One of the hallmarks of an adult child who has been impacted by an alcoholic adult is that we tend to take on some of the characteristics of the alcoholic such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, fear, insecurity and doubt to name a few. How this shows up in many of our lives is that we tend to have an almost irrational fear of not knowing how to do something all by ourselves as well as the belief that we should be able to do it perfectly the first time out!
The conundrum is that although it is difficult for me to ask for help, it has been equally as difficult for me to chart my own journey and to be willing to take action and learn from my mistakes along the way.
Take this weekend for instance. I’ve known for two weeks about a PowerPoint presentation that our Mass Comm class has required us to create to “pitch” our idea for an hour long show to replace a reality tv series and I just finished creating the presentation tonight. Oh sure, along the way I tossed around my ideas with a couple of trusted friends and worked out my pitch in my mind but I was paralyzed with fear of the unknowns of PowerPoint so it wasn’t until the night before the assignment was due that I got it done. I did end up asking for help, the day before, and received help instantaneously from several friends including my brother who says inserting videos into PPT is his “middle name”!! Who knew?? Definitely not me! But my fear kept me from calling him until five hours after I received his generous offer to help me.
Over the weekend I diverted myself from not knowing how to ask for help nor where to look for it by re-arranging my dining, living and guest room. I think God was working on me even then because I had a mini-lesson in asking for help during the process of avoiding help with my PPT when I realized I could not physically move a huge cabinet any further from where I had it the dining room all the way to the doorway of the guest room by myself. After an hour and a half I was just too tired. This time I called my other brother who came over within ten minutes of my call and helped me to figure out how to negotiate the doorway and lift the heavy cabinet.
It’s not lost on me that it was both my brothers answered both my calls for help within minutes, God love them.
As a Life Coach, I have coached many people on the virtues of planning out your goals and strategizing for success by asking for help and collaborating when needed. I am definitely still a work in progress so I hope that what I have shared here with you will inspire you to remember to ask for help when you need it. And for cripes sake, ask for it in plenty of time to get what you need to get done sanely!
Is there something going on in your life or in your work that you could ask for help today?