Tag Archives: teamwork

asking for help

No, I’m not asking you for help. Not now. I don’t think.

I realized today (again) that there is a big gap in my behavior between having the great creative idea and making it happen, between creativity and creation.


Let me tell you what happened.

Our pastor is doing a series of messages about marriage. In particular, he’s talking about ways to shatterproof your marriage.As we talked about images to illustrate a couple, we looked at lots of pictures and decided to use the generic man and woman that show up everywhere. It’s a great, simple, flexible concept.

The next piece of thinking was to decide to put 8-foot versions of the people on the wall in the gymnasium we use. Because the first message is about communication, we decided to have the couple each talking on a cell phone.

It’s a simple process: use an overhead projector, trace the figures on bulletin board paper, cut them out, fasten them to black plastic, hang them on the wall.

It’s simple but I got stuck.

For two days I’ve had the pieces and the supplies and the item on my list, but I just couldn’t get moving. Until today when Kim volunteered to help.

I almost told her no. Then I realized that I could describe what I needed and she could work on it. She traced and cut and we pinned and I hung them on the wall. We were done by the middle of the afternoon, each of us doing bits of the project.

As I was 20 feet in the air using a lift, I realized that I was stuck at the point of making the imagined tangible. There was something huge about taking the small step of tracing a figure on a paper. And I realized that I often get stuck there, stuck because I can’t ask for help.

In the interest of doing it myself, of not imposing, of being the creative one, I keep people who know how to do stuff from doing stuff. I waste energy on procrastination, on list making, on telling myself I had to get busy. Meanwhile, Kim had the time, the ability, the creativity, the helpfulness. If I had asked, she would have helped a day ago.

But then I wouldn’t have been able to write about my inability to ask for help. And you wouldn’t have been saved the lesson.