How to Ask for Help
I had it going on.
High heels, dressy jeans with fancy pockets, hair blown out, makeup done, walking confidently through a crowded hotel lobby in Huntsville, Alabama. I was on my way to a client site, giddy on the inside because I was looking forward to delivering a leadership workshop.
When I stopped by the front desk to pick up a few boxes that had been shipped to me – materials for my session – the bellman came over and asked if I needed any help. I declined his polite offer. After all, the Marine in me has a firm belief that you should always carry your own gear, I smiled and shared, “I’ve got this. Thanks.”
Ahhh … my famous last words.
Wouldn’t you know that after I bent over to pick up the boxes, my heel slipped right out from underneath me, and in a nanosecond, I fell forward and landed on top of all the materials that spilled from my boxes onto the floor. Of course, everyone in the lobby turned to look at me … and what a sight I was! I was spread out on the floor like a starfish and, to add insult to injury, I’m pretty sure that my underwear were hanging out of my mid-rise pants.
I scrambled up quickly, straightened myself out, looked at the bellman, and said as coolly as I could, “I’ll take that help now.”
On the Uber ride to my client’s site, I couldn’t help but think about my reluctance to receive help when I could’ve clearly benefited from it. After all, I ask for help in other areas of my life – particularly in areas where I have little to no experience.
Like, I started swimming this year and asked a friend for instruction. I also started learning more about graphic design and asked a friend to teach me Adobe Illustrator basics. I also wander around YouTube frequently looking for hacks, guidance, and instruction.
I concluded that the areas of my life where I don’t seek out or ask for help are when I understand the task and I’m pretty sure that I can do it by myself. Like picking up boxes!
This made me wonder, of course, what would happen in my life if I started seeking counsel in the areas where I feel 98% confident and competent. What could I learn, how could I grow, and what new level could I reach if I was more curious and vulnerable around the 2%?
This idea laid down a challenge for me. To dig deeper into the 2%.
I have to flip this back to you. What’s your 2%? What’s an area of life if you were to dig deeper that you might unlock some hidden gem that helps you enrich your life, accelerate your learning, or discover an idea that leads to a leapfrog in your career.
Take some time to sit with this idea for a bit. Keep your mind open, your ego at bay, and start by answering these questions:
- What are my talents and skills I’m most proud of?
- What more can I explore regarding my strengths?
- What am I pretty sure I don’t know … and how would the journey to learn add value to me?
- How can I be more open to growing in areas where I feel confident and competent?
- Whose support can I count on to challenge me?
Hey, we’re all on this journey together … and the beauty of it all is that there is no destination. The richness of our days leads to the joys we uncover in this season. There’s always something to learn and sometimes the best learning is to be aware of knowing what you know … and being insanely curious about what it is that you don’t.
Angie Morgan is the co-founder of Lead Star and the New York Times best-selling author of SPARK: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success, Leading from the Front, and Bet on You.