There’s a great feeling when you accomplish something on your own. After spending hours, or even years, on a difficult project, there’s this rush when you put on the finishing touches and think, “I did all of this, and I didn’t need any help!” It’s nice to feel independent and self-sufficient, because you know that, out of all people, you can count on yourself.

That’s all well and good, but sometimes, without realizing it, we can take that thought process too far. Sometimes, in our misguided ambition, we take on projects we can’t handle, or we take on too many projects at once, which pile up and become an unbearable burden. In those situations, there’s one thing that we need to remember. Brace yourself, because it may shock you.

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

If you’re one of those people who insist on doing everything on your own, you may have had a physical reaction to that statement, but it’s true. Humans are social creatures, and one of the reasons we’ve been able to make many of the advancements we’ve achieved is through cooperation. But perhaps you need a bit more convincing.

1. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak.
Many people equate independence with strength, which is a fair assumption—to a point. There’s a difference between being willing to put in the work to succeed and insisting on running yourself into the ground when it’s not necessary. For some reason, it is a common belief that if someone helps you accomplish a task, it diminishes the nature of the task, consequently diminishing the accomplishment itself.
Instead, try to think of it a different way. By asking for help, you’re freeing yourself to accomplish more beyond the task. A carpenter hiring an assistant isn’t shirking his duties; he’s passing off the jobs he has performed dozens of times before so he can focus on more complicated work. By seeking out an MCAT tutor, a future medical student isn’t admitting defeat; she is expanding her ability to learn so that she will be better prepared for her test and to treat patients in the future. These aren’t signs of weakness—they’re pathways to increasing strength.

2. People actually want to help you.
It may feel like asking for help is shifting your burden to someone else, but sometimes, it can be even more rewarding to help someone else than it is to receive that help. Chances are that you’ve got a support network around you, and part of belonging to that network is actually being willing to let others help you. Just like that feeling of independence is rewarding, so is the feeling of aiding someone you care about. Plus, these are people who care about you and don’t want to see you struggling unnecessarily. Don’t fall to the belief that you are a burden to others, because that’s simply not true.

3. It’s better to seek help than leave the job undone.
Sometimes, it’s possible to get so caught up in the desire to complete a job yourself that the job doesn’t get completed at all, which doesn’t help anyone. All it does is enhance a feeling of failure. The reason you took on the project in the first place is to benefit from the final product. By refusing to ask for help, the project is either delayed or abandoned. If you allow yourself to ask for help, you stand a chance of actually completing the project.

4. You’re not the only one who can do the job.
It’s easy to get the idea in your head that you’re the only one who can complete a job. Believe it or not, that’s simply not true. But just because someone else can do the same thing, that doesn’t diminish your ability. Others may not work on the task the exact same way you would, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t complete it in a satisfactory way. When you start getting overwhelmed, it’s perfectly fine to delegate some of your work to others who are able to complete the task in a satisfactory way.

Author's Bio: 

Carol Evenson is a business growth consultant specializing in market expansion and sales management. She enjoys writing about the paradigm shifts she's had throughout her career in hopes that others can learn too!