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My goodness, I’ve got a SERIOUS dislike for the word can’t.  If you tell me that I can’t, you’ve just told me every reason that I should.  How DARE you tell me that I can’t?  You’ve just told me that you’re in control and I’m not. GRRRR!!  And yet, here I am using it in the title of this post.  OK, maybe I’ll soften it and say ‘not able to at this time’. There’s this beast inside of me that rears it’s head when I’m told that I can’t do something. Even worse, when you tell me that I can’t do it by myself. Well, the truth is, that no matter what I dream of, I really can’t do it by myself. In fact, a great many dreams never get off the ground because of the desire to do it by themselves.

Why do we want to do things by ourselves anyway? Is it so that we can get the credit? Does it give us a sense of independence? Is it trust? It may be a combination of all of those. But, everyday, I realize more and more that I need people; I need help. I don’t usually like to approach things from the negative perspective but, I’ve listed some reasons why you can’t achieve by yourself:

1. If you could, you would have already done so.
Most of us have things that we would love to do or accomplish that we haven’t. A big part of the reason is that we need the right skills, the right people, the right circumstances, the right time. All of these are things that we don’t have much control over on our own.

2. You’re just not strong enough.
No matter what business you’re in, at some point you will need to lift something, push something or pull something. Even if it doesn’t happen in business, it may happen in your personal life….lift, push or pull. There is ALWAYS something that’s going to be too heavy for us. It may not be a physical object always. It could be a decision. It could be something emotional. At some point, you will need to combine your strength with someone else’s.

3. You’re not rich enough.
Now, I’m not talking only about money here. I’m talking about rich, as in resources. Even the wealthiest person financially needs someone to give them gas for their vehicles. Even the richest people need some help from some other resource at some point in their lives. In most cases, they were not ALWAYS rich and needed some help/input to get there.

4. You’re not smart enough.
The greatest thinkers of the world didn’t know it all. Alexander Graham Bell had an assistant that he used to help him build and bounce his ideas. Einstein came up with theories but had some colleagues with which he shared his ideas before “releasing” them to the world.

5. You’re not young enough.
Time is just a stubborn old beast, isn’t it? It just won’t wait no matter what you do. At some point, age just says, “ok buddy, your knees don’t work the same way anymore.” At some point, you look back and say, “oh the things that I could do.” At some point you look at kids around you and marvel at how they just never run out of energy.

I just told you that you were not enough. And in many cases, that’s ok. YOU don’t have to be everything. Everyone and everything needs someone or something else in order to achieve. My Belgian waffles need whipped cream and apple compote to be an awesome breakfast. A car needs fuel in order to drive. A president needs votes in order to be elected. And you need others in order to meet your goals.

Needing others doesn’t indicate your worth. It doesn’t indicate your level of failure. It doesn’t indicate that you are any less. It simply indicates that you are…..well, human.


What are some other reasons that we need help? Leave your comments below.

Join the discussion 22 Comments

  • Yeah, ‘surrender’ is a great word isn’t it? We all get there 🙂

  • Carolina HeartStrings says:

    I think I would also add “you’re not experienced enough” although that may fall under “smart enough”. But, this hit home. I am super guilty of wanting to do it myself. I think because I have had a history of others not following through or being untrustworthy. Still… having hit various plateaus it is time to reconsider. Ironically, Carolina HeartStrings is a joint project with a best friend and is very enjoyable.

  • I’m so guilty of not asking for help when I need it. I think it’s because I’m used to having to be independent. I don’t always have someone to help out or lean on and over time I stopped reaching out when I needed help. But lately I’ve been overwhelmed and am slowly realizing I do need to ask for help. There are some things I just can’t do on my own and it would be nice to have someone to help out along the way.

    • *raises hand* GUILTY!! I have definitely been known to have the independent streak. But, learning that others are available to help and its actually better for me when they do. In the same way, I make myself available to help others. Completes the cycle 😉

  • Michelle Liew says:

    Yes, totally agreed, Robert. In order to be successful at something, we need each other to achieve our goals. If only more people saw it that way!

  • Shawn Snyder says:

    I was ok with all your points until you called me old. LOL. Just kidding, I liked your message that we all need help in one form or another.

    • HAAAA! Well, I have to admit that there are just some things my body is not capable of anymore :-), at least not without significant preparation and even more significant recovery time.

  • I hate the word Can’t myself, but only when used in the form of I can’t do this or I can’t do that. Yes you CAN, if you ask, if you try , if you put forth the effort. I do think that we have put ourselves into this negativity of the can’t word. We need to change our mindset and just say I can’t do it alone

  • Dina Dove says:

    I’m so with you on this. Can’t just gets me excited to prove otherwise. Great post!

  • I think it is my stubborn will that thinks if I ask for help I am somehow ‘weak’ that keeps me from getting the assistance I need.

    I love the blogging community and the crochet community which I am a part of because helping each other comes naturally.
    Having help, especially in your online business can come in handy when unexpected life events happen like hospital stays, illness, or natural tragedies like hurricanes.
    Knowing you can call someone up to handle emailing your clients and/or readers gives you peace of mind.

  • Julia Neiman says:

    I think it makes us stronger to be able to ask for help. It also opens doors we haven’t even noticed before and creates new possibilities. Good post Robert.

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