I don't like to ask for help. There, I said it.
Every time Dan witnesses me trying to do something all by myself and refusing to reach out to him or someone else for help, he'll just stand there, watching me and say "Me do it!" like an angry toddler. It's really annoying when he does this. But also effective. Husbands are good like that.
I can come up with any number of excuses for why I don't need to ask for help, and some of them are pretty convincing. But all it really boils down to is: fear. But what am I so afraid of?
As much as I hate to admit it and choose to ignore it sometimes, I can't do everything alone. Neither can you. None of us can. And why would we?
I've found that most of the time, the help that I so desperately need is just a few steps away. Others are usually more than willing to offer their help and support, but they must first know that I need it. I've learned that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather one of strength. It takes courage to admit that we don't know everything; that we are sometimes weak and vulnerable and can't do it all alone.
I think that this is especially important for creative projects. There's a really interesting dynamic between doing something creative, which is usually a private endeavor, and then putting it out into the world for input and feedback.
I've found that, for me, going all-in with important creative projects in my life always involves asking for help. That seems a bit counterintuitive.... that something as deeply personal as going pro or committing to something would inherently involve others. But inevitably with all important projects, I reach a point where my own knowledge and will-power and resources are limited, and involving others provides the support and accountability that I need to keep going.
When I decided to go all in with architecture was when I finally asked for the help that I needed.
When I became a mother, I had no choice but to ask for help.
Now, I'm teetering on the verge of going all-in with a writing project I've been working on. I discussed it with some trusted friends in my ladies group recently, and they agreed: it's time to reach out for help.
So, even though it scares the s$%t out of me, I'm doing it. I sent drafts of my first three chapters to trusted friends whose input and opinion I highly value. I reached out to professionals to help me mold and shape this into something valuable and teach me all the things I don't know as well as the things that I don't even know I don't know.
Now I'm on the hook. Not just to myself, but to these people who have so graciously agreed to help me. And that's a great thing! It might just be the difference between success and failure for this project.
And now, I'd like to ask for your help.
My new writing project is a book that I've been working on for over two years. It is a collection of stories from my own life and it's about Facing Fear:
Fear of the Unknown
Fear of Being Alone
Fear of Being Me
Fear of Authority
Fear of Lack
Fear of Letting Go
Fear of Networking
Fear of Intimacy
Fear of Asking For Help
Fear of Rejection
Fear of Failure
Fear of Success and Responsibility
There you have it. I have tentatively dedicated a chapter of my book to exploring each of these fears and how we can summon the courage to face them head on and get on with our lives. That's a lot of fear, but each one of these has had a profound impact on my life, and involves a story that deserves to be told.
So my question to you is: which of these fears can you relate to? Which of these would you like to read more about? Or are there other areas of life in which you face a great deal of fear? What are they?
And finally, What one thing are you most afraid of?
Please let me know your thoughts on this. I greatly value your input and can't wait to see what you have to say. You can leave a comment on this post, or shoot me an email or fb message.
Thanks so much for your help with this project, and for helping me to face a fear and reach out to ask for help. I'll keep you posted on progress on the book!
What are you trying to do all alone right now? How can you make that commitment and take a small step and reach out for help?
Till next time,
© Haley McManigal 2017
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Haley McManigal and haleymcmanigal.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.