If you’re like most of our clients, you’ve got a big year ahead of you. You’re completing (or contemplating) a degree program, you’re writing a book, or you’ve got grand plans to crank out articles for publication. If that sounds like you, let us amaze you with what else we know about you:

1. You’re intelligent and successful.

2. You dislike feeling incompetent.

As a result, presto whammo—

3. You don’t like to ask for assistance.

Right?

You’re pretty sure you can figure things out for yourself (after all, you’re intelligent and successful), and you don’t want to come across as incapable (after all, you dislike feeling incompetent). Therefore, when you hit a speed bump, rather than ask for assistance, you humph along on your own, making half the progress in twice the time.

Your unwillingness to ask for help might be the biggest problem you face this year.

 

Are you guilty of “I-can-do-it-on-my-own-ism”?

Okay, we made up the condition of I-can-do-it-on-my-own-ism, but we’re not making up this issue. It has plagued our intelligent and successful clients for the 18 years we’ve been in business. Raise your hand if you’ve ever done something along these lines:

  • Your program requires your thesis to have a table of contents. You laboriously create one by hand, going back and forth from your table of contents page to the major headings of your paper to match the page numbers.
  • You’ve cited Csikszentmihalyi repeatedly but misspelled his name, so you pore over 263 pages of your dissertation to make sure you’ve found and corrected all instances.
  • You thought you needed two spaces after a period (“That’s what my typing teacher taught us,” you vent), but it turns out you need only one. Sighing, you prepare to delete the hundreds, possibly thousands, of unneeded spaces in your file one by one.

Here’s the kicker. We’re willing to bet two things:

1. Half an hour into your labour, you knew there must be a faster and easier way to get this task done.

2. You kept plodding along anyway … because you take pride in getting it done on your own.

Ironically, our penchant to carry on when instead we should reach out is not intelligent, and we end up frustrated, mired in our own incompetence. If we resist asking for assistance for too long, when we do finally reach out for help, we’re teetering on desperation.

Resolve that this year be different

January is the month of resolutions, so we have a suggestion for you:

Resolve to get some help, already!

What do you want to learn this year? Where have you perennially struggled? What has frustrated you in your degree program? How might some expertise on the front end save hours of work on the back end?

What questions do you have about APA 7? Or setting a hanging indent? Or formatting DOI?

Help us help you

Have you seen the movie Jerry Maguire? In one iconic scene, Jerry (played by Tom Cruise) is trying to help his client. He begins to plead, in an oft-quoted line, “Help me help you. Help me … help you.”

Let 2020 be the year that, when you’re not quite sure how to write that thing, or cite that source, or set that margin, you help us help you. We’re here to do the little things to give your writing the big impact it deserves. Contact us today!

Let us know in the comments below if you suffer from I-can-do-it-on-my-own-ism (and what you’re going to do about it).