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“Be strong enough to stand alone, smart enough to know when you need help, and brave enough to ask for it” – Unknown

Today’s post is a bit of a different Motivational Monday because it’s about being strong by asking for help from others. I found this author-less quote over on Pinterest, and it was a great fit to how my week has been!

Do you ever feel overwhelmed in the first couple weeks after the holidays, back at work, school, or teaching? It can be so difficult to take on everything, can’t it?

Read on for tips!


When To Stand Alone

Motivational Monday 42 - Conformity Is The Enemy of Growth

So, the first part of today’s quote says to “be strong enough to stand alone”.  I interpret this to mean that you should have the courage to stand your ground, to believe what you believe, and tell the world.


Conformity has never been the name of the game I like to play. I have always loved being different. Or, more accurately, embraced being different.  Sometimes, it does mean standing alone, when you’re the only one with a certain point of view.


Being different, though, does not mean you can’t ask for help.



How To Ask For Help 


I agree that asking for help takes bravery sometimes. Just remember that you can’t be good at everything!  In fact, I learned this lesson way back when I was at the University of Alberta School of Business way back when I did my first degree.

Now, I’m pretty sure I was always supposed to be a teacher, but I don’t regret the experience for a second.

(I actually decided not to accept my place at the Faculty of Education way back in 2004 and chose business school instead). In fact, I thought the creativity in marketing would be a great fit – and it turned out that I need a lot of help to get through the non-creative parts.

Here’s what I learned:
  •  First, when you’re doing a group project, be sure to first define everyone’s strengths. Sit down, and actually do this.
  • Everyone is good at something different! So, split the work according to what people like best. Actually, I was super surprised when they happily let me be the one to compile, edit and organize our reports. They actually preferred to do the accounting and financials!


 Asking for Help As A Student

Second,  I learned that even as a student, it’s okay to ask for help.  In fact, if you’re feeling shy, the best way to do this is to team up with the “smart” kids.  Start or join a study group with the students that have intelligence in areas you feel you don’t have.  Start a lunch group at work to discuss parts of your work you find yourself to be weak at.


Of course, if you need help with English teaching  (or ESL teaching), remember that I have a whole printables library of free resources. You can grab your free motivational posters, too, by signing up here, or at the end of this post.

Free Printables Library


Personally, I experienced asking for help this week:

I was looking for ages to find a PhD or Statistics “tutor” to help me out. That is to say, someone to guide me, not do the work for me.  I looked online, in different countries, on tutor registries – nothing. No one who was willing to take on helping a PhD student.  I had so many stats tutors tell me it was “too complicated” or “out of their expertise”.  Also, I didn’t want to rely on friends and feel bad for taking time away from their own projects.

Well, it turns out the answer was right in front of my nose. Someone who I expected would never have the time with his other responsibilities, or wouldn’t really care about making a bit of extra cash as a tutor turned out to be my solution.

I was completely wrong!

So, you have to ask.  Don’t assume.

I know it’s humbling to ask. Sometimes, it’s tough to admit that you are lost. Just remember that they might feel lost about something you’re great at, too.

Well, those are my short and sweet thoughts on this insanely busy Monday morning!

What are you going to ask for help for? Let me know in the comments below – I read and respond to every comment (that’s not spam, of course 😉

Have a lovely and productive Monday!


P.S. Photography fans, the photo for today’s post is one I took on Montserrat mountain, close to the city of Barcelona

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