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What do you know about yourself?  Are you independent or are you comfortable asking for help?  Let’s use the example of emotional intelligence; there is a teeter-totter effect.  I don’t want to be to independent and I do not wish to be too dependent.

I tend to be too independent.  I know this from my emotional intelligence report and throughout my lifetime.  I love to work in teams but I would rather do my thing then share it with the team.  This independence has worked for me in the past.  I can get a lot of work done without bothering anyone else and I can finish a project without supervision.  But, it has been hurting me recently.

One of my favorite sayings is, “You don’t know – what you don’t know”.  Once you realize what you need to know – you can learn it.  Recently I was in a situation that required me to ask for help.  I know a lot of people but will they help me?  So, I sent out an email to 100 people asking for some assistance.  Yes, I know most of them very well.  Most are friends, some acquaintances.  I got a pretty good response.  But, what I was not expecting was the extra, above, and beyond help.

Two of my friends offered to help me in different ways that I had not even imagined.  They offered to show me what I didn’t know.  I am always ready to learn!  I love to learn but, what they were offering was complicated.  I would have to dedicate myself to learning for a while.  Getting out of my comfort zone and doing behaviors that were uncomfortable but necessary to succeed.  One of my friends talked to me for  two hours.  Yes, he admitted it was like drinking from a fire hose.  I took furious notes.

Two weeks later…I could not remember a lot of what he had told me.  My notes seemed as though someone else had written them… in another language.  He had already gone above and beyond for a friend who I had not had a conversation with in almost 10 years.  Should I call him and ask for more help?  I am independent!!!  I should be able to figure this out for myself!!!  But, I knew that he gave me great information and I needed to know what I didn’t know.  I sent him an email.

He responded immediately and we talked for another hour.  He clarified what he had told me earlier.  I “got” it this time.  Wow!  “Massive Action” – I needed to do a lot of research. But, now I have a plan I and know what I did not know… “how to”

I am humbled by the need to be dependent on people at times.  And I am so honored to have such good friends.  Remember, even though you “test” as one end of a spectrum, we can always learn how to behave differently.  Yes, we may feel uncomfortable (me being dependent on someone) but these times we stretch  – we grow.

The Journal Book by Lori Ann Roth Ph.D

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