Very few are the times that I’ve ever asked anyone for help in my life. It’s just something I found impossible to do; the words just wouldn’t come out, so I ploughed my own furrow. Whereas, without sounding too sanctimonious, helping others was what gave me great satisfaction. Perhaps that’s why I operated so well in the voluntary sector that was my home for over 30 years. Interestingly in this work, I took on, and made a success of, difficult jobs that others had previously failed at; something that only confirmed to me the validity of my approach. So, I made my own way in life according to a template developed very early on.
So when I became a speaker and joined the Professional Speaking Association, I continued in this vein. This despite being told, “Mike, if you don’t ask, the answer is always “No””. I took that on board but was still unable to put it into practice. The offers of help were actually there, however, I didn’t recognise them for what they were; something that continued for quite some time.
Well, recently, getting rather frustrated with the situation, that is, that I am not bad at what I do and have a real story to tell, I wasn’t getting anywhere. As a result, I decided to break the habit of a lifetime and actually ask. First with the small circle that is my speaking Mastermind group and then beyond. The beyond being that solid barrier that I had to get though. The response, I have to say has confounded me and left me feeling, well I’m not really sure what. Except to say that it feels very, very good, if a little disconcerting. Indeed, I do know what it feels like. It’s humbling.
You see, one of the things I like to believe is that the vast majority of people on the planet are good, decent and honest and, these last few weeks in my small world, that has been proven to me in abundance. Surely something to be applauded in these trying times when “Sod you, Jack” seems to be the fuel in society’s engine.
So, many thanks to my colleagues for their, very practical, response. It is appreciated more than you will ever know. Also, I have no excuses any more.