When you do ask for help, accept the answer, even if it sounds off, and put it into practice. As immediately as possible. I began covering this in last week’s post.
That’s the only way you will really know for sure that it doesn’t work for you. But also keep at it for awhile before you come to that conclusion. Goals do not prosper on procrastination or shrugging off advice that will spur you forwards.
If necessary, ask more questions to understand the answer if it feels like if it’s totally unconnected. Earlier this summer I had a wonderful lunch with a man who works, on contract, as a business planner. I wanted to get some advice about how to get my own website and up and running. He gave me really amazing information, but I also knew I wasn’t quite ready to put it into practice. “Immediately” can sometimes mean “immediately when the ideas gel and you feel inspired.”
Why? Because I had to ponder the questions he’d posed me (the who/what/where/when/why/how-type questions — to whom am I marketing my practice, what is it I want to do…and so on). I had to get those answers before I could put his solid advice into action.
But this is a whole different specimen than procrastination.
If there’s a specific time frame to your goal and you ask for advice…the longer you wait integrating it, the harder it is to reach that goal the information is designed to augment. It’s kind of like the people I knew at college who didn’t do a lick of studying until a night or two before a final or a mid-term and then tried to “cram” the info into their heads…and then they couldn’t figure out why they weren’t getting the grades they wanted.
However, the caveat is that you put it into practice as the directions/advice dictate. Exactly.
Minor modifications are okay (to an extent), but if you deviate from the information, if you screw around with it and don’t follow the directions you’re given and you don’t see results, the fault is yours at that point. Do not get upset with the company who provided the product (and instructions) or someone you asked. When you don’t follow the directions and you don’t get benefit, you have no one but yourself to blame. The onus/responsibility is on you to follow the directions.
Whoa. Harsh! you may think.
But I’m saying it as such because I cannot tell you how many people do this…and then state that the information (or product) “didn’t work”. How can you know if it does or doesn’t if you don’t follow the instructions.
The reason they’re given is that’s how what you want to work works.
We do all learn differently. And I’m not criticizing, particularly, the people above. Maybe the cramming works (the evidence of it working or not is in the performance). Maybe putting Brad’s advice into practice a month or two before the physical goal comes due will work. Who knows? Only you know what works for you, but if you keep falling short of your goals, then that’s a clear message your methods aren’t working. It’s time to try something really new.
However, if it seems like you ARE trying new things,but you’re still getting the same results, you’re NOT trying a new method.
You’re simply doing the same old method in a repackaged way.
You’re just buying peanut butter in a different label, if you will. If you don’t like peanut butter, buying different brands (and then, as some people, do, get angry at the company that produced it for their dislike of peanut butter) isn’t going to solve the issue. You have to stop buying peanut butter.
This is a great thing that meditation can help clarify for you — if you keep getting stuck and you’re not sure where, and you’re positive you’re doing things differently, becoming intently focused on each step of the method in a visualization session during meditation can be really revealing. As you’re doing whatever it is, too. Something’s happening on autopilot that you’re missing.
Funnily enough, playing a video game that really brought this lesson home to me.
There was a part in Deadspace 2 where I kept getting cornered by monsters; I tried for hours, even days, to get out of that stupid room, but I couldn’t. Every time I tried to get to the station that had the button for me to push and open the exit door I got overwhelmed by creatures. I tried this and I tried that; I tried something else and yet something else again. Still with the same results. I started from farther and farther back save points. Finally it hit me: I’m missing something.
And so I went very…………very………..slowly. It took me a few tries but I suddenly discovered a corridor I’d missed. Every single time. For a couple of hours! And that corridor brought me around to a little alcove behind the station; I still got attacked, but I had cover, and I was able to reach the button and escape. Et voila!
So now, in life — or in other video games — if I keep running in circles, even if I’m trying something “new”, I remember that lesson. I’m missing something.
I’ll start becoming mindful of my methods — and, if I can, I’ll ask for help. Google is wonderful for that. It’s a marvelous tool for getting new insights or assistance.
So that means there’s three key components to asking for help (once you’ve soothed your frustration and sense of unnecessary embarrassment):
- Be open-minded to the suggestion.
- Put it into practice immediately, and keep at it for a healthy amount of times. Not a couple.
- Go more slowly and be mindful of the steps you’re taking so you can see an answer you’ve overlooked.
Yes, sometimes advice you get won’t work or won’t resonate with you. But pay attention to that “no” “resonance”. Is it a belligerent “no” or a full-on “no” that’s as full-on as what would come if someone asked you to jump off a bridge without a parachute?
If it isn’t, then go ahead and try it anyway.
Quite often it works and turns out the suggestion was the exactly truly different thing needed to get you moving again.
Questions? Comments? Email me at heather (at) smallchangelife (dot) org or drop by my Facebook page and leave me a message, leave a comment below or feel free to start up a conversation in the discussion forum.