Stubborn? Be Receptive to Help

I can be stubborn and I will insist on doing everything myself. After a dinner party this summer, the last few guests offered to help bring in everything from outside. With great bravado, I quickly waved their help away. I was the host; they were guest. They reminded me that if I left all that food outside, I would have uninvited guests at the critter buffet.

The immediate thought of rats, raccoons, and lord know what else, having an after-party terrified me enough that I agreed. Why was I being so stubborn? In 15 minutes everything was cleared. Tablecloths and napkins were in the laundry. Plates and glasses in the dishwasher, tables and chairs folded and waiting be stored. Which made me think again, why was I being so stubborn?

People want to help; let them. This scenario reminded me to do the same at work. I have my way of doing things, my own style. But as it has been mentioned before, I cannot be all things to all people. I will exhaust myself, which I have done before, and be of no good for anything and anybody. There are people who can help out and who want to.

The trick is to recognize who is willing and able to help. At work, there should be associates who can help. If you find yourself in the situation that there is no one, consider creating more connections at work and mentoring others. When I get overwhelmed and overworked, if there is no one who can help out on my team, then as a team leader, I have failed. I have to share with others what I’m doing and encourage them to mentor each other and make connections. As the team leader, I know the best model is to have some overlap of expertise. Generally, I find that people want to help; they want to be useful.

I was reminded of this blog post I did last November as I still tend to go into need help mode. I realized this week when I go into I can do this with no help; it is my adult mind was getting confused with my adolescent brain. As a child, doing something all by yourself is good, for example, tying your shoes, all by yourself, is good. As an adult, somehow, in my mind, there are bonus points for doing things all by yourself. So this week, I admitted I needed help with a repair. It was hard to ask for help, but easy to accept it. In addition to the first thing I learned, be receptive to help and be thankful for those who give it. I learned a new lesson, ask for help when you need it, there are no bonus points for stubbornness.

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