Asking For Help

16 Dec 2019

I have always had a perfectionist streak long internalized in my thinking to the point where if I can't figure something out I must be horribly flawed in some way. Have I finally broken myself from this cycle? I think so. At least I have at my job where I don't have time to sit forever on a problem that I don't know how to solve on my own. Now don't get me wrong, I will try everything that I think will work by myself and when that doesn't work I present my issue to someone with more experience on my team and explain my thought process behind solving the problem. Sometimes I think that turns into information overload, but the way I figure it: if I'm looking at the problem the wrong way then they know so they can maybe explain why I should be exploring the problem in a different way.

I tend to understand a problem better if I can talk through it with someone else. Sometimes I come to the answer on my own and had to actually speak with someone more knowledgeable to be sure I wasn't going off on a tangent. Then through talking it out I come to understand the problem, product, and troubleshooting processes better. They become more engrained so next time I run into a similar issue I am usually able to work through it more quickly.

I have finally internalized that I would rather ask someone and learn something new than stew in the fear of failure. Fear of failure is not productive and doesn't really lead me anywhere. I won't get the satisfaction of learning something new if I'm never able to "get it" because I don't know which questions to ask Google. Talking to a human rather than google has all the benefits mentioned above plus the benefit of them being able to meet me where I am in my understanding of a problem and leading me towards the solution.

I have also realized that because I haven't asked for help I flounder when I try to pry myself away from tutorials. Tutorial hell. If I try something myself and I constantly fail and can't figure out what questions to ask good I get discouraged. When I get discouraged I jump back to tutorials so I can learn just learn one more concept. But it's no good in the long run because with tutorials I'm never really applying what I've learned, I'm just following along with someone else's instructions.

Here's to self discovery! How do you ask for help? If you don't, what holds you back from asking?