This is not a sermon – I promise. Like most of my blogs, it is merely an observation. Trust me; I am the last person to be preaching to anyone!
Lust, greed, gluttony, envy, anger pride and sloth – the big seven. I can certainly see where some of these are really now win situations. Gluttony – yeah, I get that, especially after eating a whole can on Pringles for lunch. Greed and lust – you just never hear of anything good coming from those.
But I have to play devil’s advocate here (yes, intentional play on words) and say that I can see where anger can be a little bit of a good thing. I know there have been times that the one little emotion caused me to get my rear end in gear and get something done.
But pride – well, one could be proud of what they do, who they are, their family, their company, their employees so it can’t be all bad, right?
When it prevents you from reaching your goals, yes, it is a bad thing. I do not mean taking so much pride in yourself that you believe you are beyond reproach – that is an easy connection to make so I am not going there.
The pride I am talking about is the pride that prevents you from asking for help because you are afraid. You don’t want to look stupid.
I had lunch with a friend last week and he was telling me about a salesman at their company who wasn’t doing very well. He came from an entirely different industry and was not adopting well to the clients in the new industry which translated to not being productive in a few months.
When my friend pulled him aside to talk to him about it he discovered that this guy wanted to do well, but he was not asking for help because of his pride. He thought he should be able to do it himself and was too embarrassed to let anyone know he needed help. He was afraid of looking stupid and loosing respect with his co-workers or boss.
If he doesn’t reach out for it soon one of two things will happen: he will decide to leave or will be asked to do so.
Don’t let the pride ruin the opportunity you wanted so badly. That’s just silly.
It is not easy to do, I understand. I am a very independent person. This translates to I am very stubborn and I want to be able to do everything my self and do it perfectly. Unrealistic, I know. Thankfully, as I get older that filter is lessening.
Ten years ago if I needed help with something on the house or car I would drive myself crazy researching and trying to figure out how to do it and how I can do it myself. Not now. I realize I am awesome at what I do and home improvements and car repairs are not it.
The biggest deterrent to me asking for help was the reaction I might get from others. My ex-husband, who happens to be one of my best friends is notorious for giving me grief. The other day we were driving somewhere and I asked for clarification on directions. He looked at me and said, “You would get lost in a square room with directions.” How sweet.
Nice little comments like that used to make me button up and get that little bit of anger going and the voice in my head saying, “oh yeah, well, I’ll show you; I’ll do it myself.” Not now.
Now I just say, “Look, I am being the bigger person here and asking for help so try to be nice for a minute and help me out without the peanut gallery comments.” Of course he says something about the “bigger person” comment considering I am 5’ tall and he is 6’4” – but he helps.
I would not suggest you approach a boss or a colleague in this manner; however I am encouraging you to swallow that pride and just ask for help. It may be embarrassing but it will pass. When it is all said and done you will learn what you need and that will help you do what you do that much better.
This will translate to you being able to serve your clients or company that much better. It will also give you the opportunity that at some point perhaps you could pass on that knowledge to someone else that might be struggling. These are all bonus points so I would say it is worth a little embarrassment or bitterness in chocking down that pride.
So often what we want is right there in front of us and the only thing that is stopping us from getting it is quite frankly ourselves. Our pride, anger, embarrassment, fear – whatever the emotion it comes from within us and we have the power to conquer it.
If we let pride keep us from reaching our goals it can easily turn into one of the other biggies like anger or envy; maybe even sloth. Sloth is never a good thing. Nothing about that word sounds good.
Oh, and one last thing – if you are the boss or colleague that someone comes to for help remember to be gracious. We all have gifts and talents but not all of us know the same things so do not judge others for not knowing what you do. Instead take a step back and realize that the person asking you has enough respect or reverence for you to ask. Be appreciative that you are being recognized and asked for help. It is a great compliment.
Now I have to go fix a toilet – because I know how to now…
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.