It’s interesting. Building a business. Teaching students. There’s an illusion that we should present ourselves as the experts, as if we know it all, or people will not have faith in us.
But then there is another school of thought that recognises we are all on a learning curve, and asking for help is, in fact, an act of bravery.
I’ve waffled back and forth between these two views, and suddenly had an epiphany. It was a moment of truth that came after watching a friend die this summer.
Life’s too short.
Let me explain.
So, I’m in my second year of a teaching position in the Middle East, in Saudi Arabia where I am essentially isolated in my domain. There are no other drama teachers near by, though, of course, I network with people in the next city and online, and I attend at least one international conference a year.
I have set a very big and bodacious goal for myself (I love these). It involves writing a LOT of curriculum, on top of teaching five courses with classes three times a week. I sensed and then knew by the end of the first three weeks of this…I was going to hit my wall quickly in terms of time management. And I did.
I was starting to work day and night, get headaches and feel the stress. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? It wasn’t an option to back down on my bodacious goal.
So…I did what any smart and self-preserving human would do. I decided, of course, to ask for help.
Wow. Mountains move when you get this one. I reached across the globe through my professional learning networks on Facebook and Twitter and through email with a few people, too, and…bless them…they answered!!!
Crazy. We preach all the time in education and business and then still go out there and operate in isolation, in fear of appearing weak or a failure if we need to ask for resources. Wrong! ASK!!!
What comes of asking for help are a few things:
- Connections – You network with others of like mind. Nix isolation.
- Resources – we teach kids that information is like water today; so why hoard it? it’s wonderful to get new ideas; I’ll happily pay if it helps.
- The opportunity to share back – It feels good to give!
- Learning – By engaging in your professional or personal learning community, you accelerate and focus your own learning. How cool is that?
I learned from producing one of the world’s largest cafe-based coffee festivals, the Chorlton Coffee Festival, that no (wo)man is an island. So much more gets accomplished with the synergy of a team. It’s more fun that, way, too!
Share and share alike, and watch your shared knowledge grow, your projects flourish and small businesses flourish into larger companies and organisations. Watch small ideas take off and save lives on this planet. Share. And. Watch. Things. Grow.
If you’re stuck or isolated by location or fear of asking, I’m here to come out of the closet and readily admit it: I need help. We all need help! It is not a weakness. Ask for help!
If there’s anything I can do for you, ask me…
I am right here. x
PS. If you have some thoughts or a story to tell about this, I’d love to hear it. Drop a comment below.