I’m an independent, let me “do it myself” and “I’ll make it happen” kind of person. I tend to intuitively “get” what needs to get done and identify the most efficient way to get there. So when I hit an impediment that I can’t get around I get stuck. Really stuck. Like when there’s a scratch on a DVD and the same 5 seconds keep playing over and over. And just like scratches on my favorite movie it always seems to happen at the worst moment.
I affectionately refer to this as “breaking my brain.” Something short circuits and I can’t get it back on track. And I don’t handle the frustration well.
In the last few months I had an aha moment and realized that there are there is only one way out of this: ask for help. For me, asking for help is the equivalent of admitting that I’m a complete and utter failure. It seems like something that should be reserved for when the sky really is falling.
I also have to admit that the first draft of this blog included nothing about my extreme phobia of asking for help. It was going to be a nice, sweet “here’s the three types of roadblocks I typically hit on projects… and how to solve them.” The problem was that the first three words in all three roadblocks is “I need help with…” and, well, talking about asking for help without talking about the elephant in my living room seems a little ridiculous. So hopefully you won’t judge me too much for having an independent streak a mile wide!
Now that I’ve made my confession, I realize that the best solution for the three roadblocks I encounter is the most simple yet difficult thing: admit I can’t do it myself and ask someone else to help me.
So… without any more ado, here’s the thee types of roadblocks that throw me for a loop:
- I need help to get something from someone else (clarification, decisions, deliverables, approval, etc.).
- I need help getting a different perspective or attitude on a situation.
- I need help developing or improving a skill.
I honestly can’t think a single impediment from the last 7 years that doesn’t fit into one of these buckets.
Is there a three step solution for solving them? No. But now I’m finding that the more I attempt to get the words “I need help” out of my mouth the closer I get to actually saying it.