Month: March 2018

Why Asking for Help Doesn’t Make You Weak

“Can you help me?”

It’s a simple 4-word question, but for some people, this make or break question can be the hardest four words they can ever say. I was one of these people.

I like to think of myself as a strong independent woman. I can handle just about anything life throws at me, and, when life in all her graces decides to throw me the shitter of all curveballs, I’m usually pretty good at sourcing and implementing a solution all by my lonesome. I am, all in all, fairly self-sufficient. I’ve had to be. When you’re as stubborn and difficult as I am, asking for help really grates against the grain.

Over the past few years, however, along my journey of self-discovery and looking internally, I have realised something; asking for someone’s help or advice does not make you weak or stupid or insignificant. It actually makes you stronger.

Asking for someone's help or advice does not make you weak or stupid or insignificant. It actually makes you stronger. Click To Tweet

There’s that old saying:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Yes, this quote applies to teachers, but also to learners. Halfass a job yourself and you’ll never really, truly figure out how you did it and be able to effectively and efficiently reproduce the result. Or even worse, you won’t even be able to finish the task you’re attempting, and have to give up in a broken frustrated heap. Been there, done that, not a nice feeling. Have the sense to ask for the advice and help of someone in the know, and you’ll produce a higher quality result every time.

Asking for advice and help does not show that you are weak and unable to cope, or that you are somehow inadequate or unworthy. It instead shows your intelligence, integrity and self-awareness; you know and can see your strengths and weaknesses. You know when soldiering on blindly just isn’t going to cut it and stop, put your hands up, and say “I need some help”.

The biggest barrier stopping many independent (read: stubborn) people, not just women, from asking for help is that to admit you need help is to admit vulnerability. I struggled with this so much. I put in so much effort into having my shit together and into being a strong, capable young woman. How could I possibly admit that I had no idea what I was doing? That I was incapable of doing it all? Wouldn’t that make me look weak and incompetent? Or worse – stupid?

The truth is people don’t want to see some invincible character that never slips or falters. Everyone knows this is a facade worn by those who in truth tend to be deeply insecure and are perhaps most in need of the help they cannot ask for. People want you to ask for help; it shows them you’re human.

Asking for help causes you to be vulnerable in the most painful way. In order to ask for help, you have to drop your shield and guards and admit that you are not superhuman. You don’t know what you’re doing. The workload you’ve taken on or been given is too much. Admitting that you’re not indestructible and can’t do it all is a level of vulnerability that many people, myself included, really struggle with. It’s anxiety inducing, and terrifying, and just plain uncomfortable.

But you know what’s even more uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing?

Suffering from stress and burnout because you just couldn’t admit that you couldn’t do it all. Not getting that promotion or raise or audition just because you couldn’t bring yourself to ask for a little advice and mentoring.

Asking for help is hard, but the results of not doing so are even worse. Click To Tweet

Asking for help is hard, but the results of not doing so are even worse. Take my advice; ask. You’ll feel like crap – the first few times. Eventually, common sense and the wonderful lack of stress and panic cause you to realise just how beneficial that help can be.

It’s hard. I get it. I’ve been there.

Just go for it.

3 Things: February 2018

Well, that… was a weird month. It started, hovered around in the middle for a minute there, and now suddenly it’s March. What the hell happened there?

I’m now into the second of three terms at Uni, and it’s a busy one. Even my transitions tutor wished me luck it’s so bad. Or at least, it would be if I hadn’t picked such fabulous modules this term. I have a history module learning about the music of Stravinsky (legend!) and I’ve taken a module that’s all about film music appreciation and analysis. How frickin’ cool is that?!

I’m loving work too. It’s been just the right balance of busy and quiet, meaning I’ve not been stressed out my nut worrying about not having time to get things done.

Lost my Mojo

I kind of felt like I’d lost my spark towards the end of the month. I didn’t know what to write for the blog, so I missed a couple of posts. I don’t rely on my blog for income, so it was no big deal to be unable to keep up with my posting schedule, but it was disappointing. I was really proud of myself for getting up one post a week in January. That was a big deal to me because I don’t think I’ve ever truly managed that before, especially as every one of those posts was written and scheduled in advance, which is something I’ve never managed before.

As I said, it was a little disappointing to lose my writing inspiration, but I’ve gone back to journaling every night before bed, and I think it’s really helping. Here’s hoping.

Chatting with Bloggers

I may have lost my funk when it came to writing for the blog, but I have got better at reaching out and talking to some of the bloggers I follow, which has been really great. It has been really nice to start to feel a little more like part of the blogging community.

You can sometimes feel a little like you’re talking to the wall when you’re blogging and posting on social media and there’s no response or comments from anyone other than your mum. But the bloggers out there I’ve spoken to have been so lovely and supportive and it’s just so nice to feel part of something. All it takes is a little bit of courage to reach out.

The Big Chop

Guys, I’ve cut my hair. Again.

But this time it wasn’t just a wee inch off the bottom and a fringe cut in. This time…

I cut 8 inches off my hair!

I can’t remember the last time my hair was this short, but you know what. I love it! Instead of the usual hour to dry my hair, it takes twenty minutes. Twenty minutes! It’s amazing!

So that was my February, however short it was. Did you guys find February flew by as quickly as I did?