I’ve been pretty busy at work, and at the same time challenged. I am very grateful for the new opportunities and want to excel. Because I am going outside of my immediate comfort zone, I’ve had to put a lot of time into understanding what I have available and how those resources operate.
Doing that background work has led me to tap my coworkers’ shoulders for help. I have needed help understanding our current setup and also on brainstorming ideas on how to overcome our obstacles. At first I saw this as another obstacle and felt somewhat defeated. I am a prepared professional who can understand how things work and is continuously learning how to problem-solve. I am smart! Yet, I don’t know it all, and above that I don’t know what I don’t know.
It is foolish for me to believe that I can solve it all single-handedly when I am not an expert or the most experienced. I may be the one responsible for the project, but I am not expected to complete it all on my own. I belong to a team that is expected and willing to do the one thing that guarantees our success and greatness: collaborate.
Needing or asking for help is not a weakness but a strength. In order to even get there you have to recognize your limitations and those of others. You have to realize that the world doesn’t start and end with you, while not putting yourself down for not being the all-powerful. For us to believe that we can do it all places us in a very dangerous position of possible arrogance and definite overburdening, breaking our backs and causing repeated heartbreak. In vain we will continue to lie to ourselves and live on our imaginary island, alone.
My coworkers did not solve my problems, however they supported me and gave me ideas on how to approach them. They helped me process my thoughts and nudged me in the right direction. They prepared me to see that part of leading is connecting with others. Because of that, my opportunities give my team the chance to celebrate my victory. For,
We live in a community and are not even biologically meant to be on our own. When I believe that I shouldn’t or don’t need anyone, I just weaken my ties with those around me and take away from them the opportunity to bless me, hence an opportunity for them to grow and expand our network. Living under the illusion that I don’t need anyone will only grow my isolation, which in turn will fuel my need for others. I would lose so much more than I could fathom. So, I will let others in so I can enjoy their company, grow, and help them grow.
It is true: it does take a village. Whatever it is, you aren’t meant to go through it alone. Don’t see need as a weakness but as tapping extensions in your network. You connect with others, others to you, and the networks with each other. The links just makes us all stronger.