Knowing When to Ask for Help.

I like to work on my cars, doing oil changes, switching tires between summer and winter, replacing brake pads, spark plugs, the occasional radiator flush, fixing the exhaust and detailing the exterior, I’ve even tackled some minor body work and painted my hood and rear bumper. Knowing how things work and doing these things myself is a source of satisfaction and it saves me a little money. I’ve also shared some of these newer skills with my neighbor who is restoring his ’69 Mustang Grande.

We all have our own levels of confidence when doing things ourselves. There are times though that the problem facing us is a little more than we can handle with our current skill set. This is when we have to do a self check and realize we need help and call in the professionals.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but rather an indication that we know our limitations. Do not use this for an excuse to no longer expand your horizons and learn new things. For example when the PC broke onto the scene in the early 80’s I bought one even though it cost over $3600. I knew this device was going to become an important tool for businesses and I wanted to know how it worked. Reading magazines of the time, buying new hardware and software to expand its’ capabilities and doing all this myself taught me what I wanted to know. All the time and effort I put into doing this opened up a unexpected new career path for me. Doing all that was possible because I had the tools available and the drive to do so. I also had the time and the support of the community that was growing around this new platform.

Now I read blogs and whitepapers on subjects that continue to expand my computer abilities. My love of cars also led me to find blogs and forums where the community posts DIY threads with detailed write-ups and videos on everything from changing spark plugs to performing a complicated head gasket replacement which leads me to my current struggle. Recently my 2000 Subaru Impreza blew a head gasket (a known point of failure on older Subarus) and I’ve been struggling back and forth on whether I should attempt this repair myself. Consequently the car has been sitting idle for a few months and it didn’t help that it happened in Winter which in the Northeast is a lousy time to do any type of driveway car repair. Another side affect of this struggle has been the nagging from my inner voice telling me to move on and make a decision – should I do it myself – should I let some stranger tear my car apart – all playing on a loop inside my head.

Today was the day I made a decision, even though this procedure is explained in detail in my cars forum I know let me repeat “I know” this is outside of my comfort zone. There are special tools and procedures required to do this job right and I’m just not comfortable in my abilities to do it. This job is for a professional, someone that does it on a regular basis and knows exactly the correct steps to follow. I could try but I would feel a lot better letting a professional handle it plus I get to say goodbye to the nagging voice inside my head.

The professionals that do their jobs every day and continue learning new skills are there to support people like you and me when we come up against a wall. It’s not a sign of weakness on our part but rather an indication of knowing our own limitations. Knowing when to ask for help can spare us the stress of struggling with a problem we know deep down we don’t have the skill set to handle. If it’s something you want to learn to do then by all means pursue it but in the meantime get past your current struggle and when time allows take on the task of learning.

What problem are you struggling with?

Is your inner voice nagging you about something?

Take a few minutes and do some research to find a professional that works to solve problems like yours and move on to something new.

Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below – who knows you may connect up with someone that can help solve some of your problems.