As Practical Idealists we tend to take on a lot. Sometimes that can lead to feeling isolated or stressed. Too often, we resist asking for help even when that could serve as a valuable release valve or we face complex challenges.
The Sociologist Brené Brown has helped illuminate the power of being vulnerable. She writes, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”
This week, think about one of the big challenges you are facing in your life.
Who do you trust to ask for help? If it’s a professional challenge, try to find someone who works not in your organization, but in your field. A personal challenge? A friend or acquaintance who has faced something similar and overcome it.
People usually want to tell their stories. Rather then starting by asking for help, ask about their experiences. What approach did they take? What were the unique elements that helped them to be successful.
Use their stories to brainstorm a variety of approaches to your challenge. Look at how similar obstacles have been handled in different areas to get more ideas.
You don’t have to come up with “the answer” – the one thing you’ll do, hoping that it solves the problem. Instead taking a short amount of time to get insights from different perspectives will naturally begin to widen your options, which gets narrower when you’re stressed.
- Why did you pick this challenge?
- What are the themes in the options you brainstormed?
- What is the easiest way you could test which might work for you?