I sat in the meeting and felt small. I noticed everyone around me laughing and I felt sick to my stomach. Should I pretend?
You see, I felt like my business dilemmas much be so much bigger and more critical that anyone else’s. And I had travelled so far. I had spent so much money to be there. And I was exhausted. I just wanted to cry.
I stood up and stretched, grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down again, trying to focus on what was actually happening in the room, rather than just in my head.
Later it was my turn to speak. It’s always been really hard for me to ask for help, but I took a depth breathe and finally let it out. I don’t know how to do this, I said. And I’m scared it might fail.
Everyone around the table started nodding in agreement, not that they thought my idea would fail, but that they recognized the fear and the discomfort.
Relieved, I continued to speak about this decision I needed to make and began to unravel all my confusion. There were some good suggestions, there were some horrible suggestions but everyone listened and I could hear myself finally.
You see for weeks the ideas had been just in my head. And it had been really noisy in there. Now I could talk it out, get some feedback and see it so much more clearly.
It was so helpful. But here are the 5 invaluable lessons I learned:
- When you share your story, you share your humanity – there is always someone who can relate.
- Telling your story out loud, the act itself, makes for more clarity and sense.
- There are people around you who can and want to help.
- Often they have experience and expertise that you don’t even know about.
- You are not alone and it’s okay to ask for help.
This last one is tough for me. You see, I’ve spent years being super strong. It’s always been easier for me to help others than to acknowledge I might need help myself.
I left with so much more clarity, humility and optimism. I can ask for help. I will ask for help. I’m not alone.
I’d love to hear what you think about asking for help.