I admit that for a long time I was a firm believer that if you wanted something done right, you had to do it yourself. This kind of thinking didn’t make me a very effective manager, since I delegated very little, and when I did, no one knew what to do since I hadn’t given them the experience they needed. What’s interesting is their inability to get the job done used to be proof that I was right not to ask them in the first place!
It didn’t take long for this to become a vicious cycle of feeling frustrated, overworked and overwhelmed with all that I had put on my plate! It wasn’t until I started to really work on myself and increase my self-awareness that I realized that my issue with not being willing to ask for help was rooted in my desire to be needed. My insecurities about being good enough made me fearful that if I didn’t do everything it would be easy to replace me. I didn’t think that I had anything special to offer, so if I delegated I would just be proving myself redundant.
Thankfully or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it), there came a point in my life where I realized I needed help. After the loss of my father I realized that I didn’t have the tools to cope with the grief of losing him and I sought out professional help. It was the first time that I was honest with myself about the fact that I couldn’t deal with something on my own. Once I got over the feelings of shame and embarrassment and realized the benefits of having the support of someone else, I realized I had been doing myself a disservice trying to do it by myself.
When I decided to pursue the path of an entrepreneur, I’ll admit that I did start off believing that I could do it all on my own. I had my MBA after all and I was running an association practically on my own – how hard to running my own business be? I learned pretty quickly that it was a challenge, and that the mindset of an employee is very different from that of an entrepreneur and I was going to need guidance. I can say that I am glad that I didn’t waste years trying to figure things out on my own!
This isn’t to say that all of my experiences with asking for help or seeking guidance have been happy ones. Sometimes I got too caught up in the glitz and glamour of the help being offered instead of making sure it was really the help I needed. There were other times where the help being offered was a one-size-fits-all approach that didn’t quite fit me. What I can say is that I have learned from the negative experiences and gained significantly from the positive ones.
I am so glad that I have let go of the need to have all the answers and to get it all done by myself. As we speak my website (which I did by myself) is getting a professional facelift and I’m really excited about how it’s coming along. I’ve hired my first intern and am really excited about the contributions she’s already made. I did some work with a marketing coach and I am so excited to put all of her recommendations into practice in my business!
I’ll admit I can be stubborn, and even though I realize the benefit of asking for help, I still sometimes feel resistance to it. The good news is I am okay with getting uncomfortable. I’m ready to take my life and my business to the next level and I know that trying to do it alone will only lead to frustration and overwhelm, and I am more than happy to do without that!
What are you ready to ask for help with? ♥