Asking for help is NOT being bothersome

While at a bootcamp in Las Vegas for Juice Plus in January 2010, our team leader Loren Slocum made the statement, “How you play games is how you do life. How you do anything in life is how you do everything.”

Flash forward to Saturday night. Nine hours into my shift, the general manager rightfully called me out for not asking for help. And when I say he called me out, I mean he really called me out. Not in a mean or unprofessional manner, but in a way that I understood I had better learn from what had just happened and work on asking for help.

And I stayed up until 5:00 a.m. thinking about how I can ask for help at work, and more importantly, WHY it is so hard for me to ask for help. I came up with some solutions to the first part easily enough; however, what struck me most is the idea I had that asking for help amounted to bothering people.

I didn’t want to be a bother to my coworkers, or anyone else for that matter. I wanted to be one of the best at my workplace. Just as I had been one of the best in high school and in college. But what had not asking for help cost me? How had I not been asking for help in other areas of my life? And WHY is it so hard for me to ask for help?!?

In high school, not asking for help cost me a spot on the varsity tennis team. I was too embarrassed to fail and to make mistakes in front of others, that instead of asking for help from my teammates and coach, I envied those who were playing better than me and made excuses as to why I couldn’t possibly play at their level. Eventually, I quit the team. I wouldn’t get out of my own way.

In college, I did the same thing. Never asking for help from my parents, boyfriend (now husband), roommates, advisors, or anyone else, I transferred universities six times in five years and changed my major countless times. Instead of asking for help in determining my major and/or my university, I spent years not have a career path and would start and quit program after program. It was beyond frustrating – and depressing.

But I hadn’t yet learned my lesson.

As I moved into the professional work force, I unknowingly continued on with my I-don’t-ask-for-help-attitude. In fact, looking back, that attitude cost me my employment more than once. Every time another family member was diagnosed with cancer, I would change jobs. Since 2005, that’s amounted to three job changes. It was like clockwork up until Saturday.

And then Darren had that very direct conversation with me. And that might just make him the best boss I’ve ever had. With my oldest cousin having been diagnosed with cancer just last week – meaning that for the first time cancer is in “my generation” of the family tree – Darren’s conversation could not have come at a better time.

It’s time to start asking for help.

So, I’m starting with the little things. I’ve begun asking my co-workers for help when I’m in the weeds. I’m getting better at letting my managers know if things are less-than-stellar at any of my tables. And yes, even asking for these little things is awkward; however, the results are absolutely rewarding and have created win-win situations. I ask for help, my tables get taken care of really well, and others start asking for help when they need it. Full circle, baby!

Some of the bigger things I’ll be asking for help on will include:

It IS time to start asking for help. After all, how you do anything is how you do everything. Who knew that one conversation talking-to could have so much power?

How will you ask for help today?

About Sara

Sara Hefty (B.B.A. and H.H.C.) teaches workaholic women how to have it all and flourish without burning out, binging or being spiteful. As an expert in transformational health coaching, she holds women accountable for letting go of unwanted weight, being brilliantly nourished, grounded in truth and feeling confident, happy and playful every single day.

As a woman with her own weight loss story, wide-ranging family heritage of cancer, and a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Sara’s appreciation for convenient nutrient-dense food, personal growth, inspiring design, financial responsibility, and social entrepreneurship led to her “Pursuit of Ownership: Health, Home, and Legacy” model of heart-on-fire-hot empowered living.

Sara is the founder of PROJECT LUX and She currently lives in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, with her husband Brian and hound-dog Raja.