Admitting that you cannot do everything is tough for a lot of people. We like to think that we are capable, intelligent humans that can figure out a problem, work through a strategy, or master a skill on our own. I like to think I can do it for the satisfaction that I know I did it alone, but also I don’t want to bother someone else. Everyone has a finite amount of time, and it is often forgotten that many people enjoy helping others. It’s not viewed as a waste of time.
Learning this lesson time and time again never gets easier. The past few months have been difficult, learning the ins and outs of an organization can be tough, but the overall idea would be that it occurs close to other staff members who are available to help with a quick chat. Working remotely removes that convenience. Working remotely takes that accessibility away and replaces it with designating time to call and chat. It starts and ends with pleasantries and seems to add more time to a seemingly easy question.
For some reason, this seemingly easy communication seems like another task to add to a list, and maybe it isn't something that needs to happen. Maybe this question can be answered on its own. Unfortunately, these things can pile up and with the mix of stress and anxiety of a pandemic, these small things can suddenly, and unexpectedly become big things.
These big things became a big problem and I could not figure out how to get over this massive mountain that was now in front of me. Anxiety, and stress mixed with pressure from work that I was not accustomed to. I was at a loss. I finally decided to call my co-worker who was also a friend. The topic was more difficult to talk about than I originally imagined, however, she calmed me down immediately. The relief from sharing was prompt and a large weight seemed to have lifted from my chest.
The advice can come in so many forms, in particular, direct and indirect. When I was first reached out to someone for help, I got direct advice. It was something super attainable and required me to accomplish one additional thing. That was making another phone call. That phone call led to more indirect advice. What can I do to help myself? Who else can I lean on? Why is this such a huge struggle, can it be broken down into a few minor inconveniences? Can it be broken down even further to a handful of problems?
Taking these conversations seriously can be a challenge. Cringing at some simple suggestions because “I should have been smart enough to make that connection” doesn’t help anyone. It is important to show that those suggestions are important to you. This is how I can make the personal decision to not waste this person’s time by taking their advice.
Moving forward through this particular mountain that I created was difficult and taxing, but knowing that I had a group of people who were now invested in my success was an amazing feeling. This is a driving force of not letting people down, in my opinion. Something I have found can be a big driving force for me.
In the future, admitting that help is needed will continue being tough, but hopefully, I can try to teach myself that not only do people want to help, but they are also happy to do it. More people than are on your side and are excited to watch you succeed than you may have originally thought.