Usually I love a challenge. I am usually the one extolling the virtues of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and trying something new. The sorts of challenges I usually take on involve walking boots, and rucksacks, and sometimes bikes and tents. I’m good at navigating across remote hillsides and I can cope with the weather. I know I have a mindset that can overcome most hardship that can be found in the outdoors.
Today however, I met my match. Now I am no technophobe – I use platforms for remote working, all manner of social media sites and know my way around an online classroom. But today the process of automating an email with an attachment nearly killed me. I was close to throwing my laptop out of the window in frustration. I felt ridiculous – why was I finding this so hard?
I am an intelligent woman, I can follow a process and be logical, so why won’t my links work, or the version of the document show as the most recent one and why is my paragraph split into two on the live version but not in the back office version?
I knew what I needed to do. I needed to ask for help.
In the past, this would have felt like a failure. Asking for help used to be hard for me. At one point not so many years ago I was prepared to leave a job rather than ask my manager for the help that I needed.
I had to be taught how to ask for help, and now I know how to do it, I practice it. And it becomes easier every time. It doesn’t mean that I don’t try to do things on my own. But I know that when the tipping point comes, rather than tipping into feelings of despair, I can just metaphorically put my hand up, and tell someone I’m stuck. And that’s OK. It was actually another coach who asked why I was making things so difficult for myself and talked to me about my issues with asking for help but that’s a story for another day!
Today I took my problem to the team I knew would be most likely to be able to help. I asked for specific feedback about what they were seeing when they tried my automated process, and when things were not working for them, asked them how I fixed it. The coach, the storyteller and the guru came to my aid and answered my questions until I was done.
I did not feel like a failure, because I didn’t fail. I asked for help because I needed it, and there is no shame or failure in that at all. We don’t need to be able to do everything on our own. And people like to help. Now I know how to run an automation with an embedded file, and I didn’t this morning, so that’s a win right?
And the funniest thing of all is that the email I was trying to send was all about giving other people ideas for mini-adventures of their own (and no, sending an automated email wasn’t one of my 5 suggestions!)
If you would like to be amazed by my technological skills, and at the same time receive some inspiration for micro-adventures that you can do on your own, you can follow the link here.
And then you can come and tell me which adventure you are going to try and send me pictures of you doing it!
And if you need any help, all you need to do is ask.