I had to ask for help today. A few years back, it probably wouldn’t have happened and if it did, it would have been two or three days after it should have happened. And, by that time, I would have missed the opportunity to check myself before I wrecked myself.

Yep. Back then, I would definitely have wrecked myself.

Today, I am quite proud that I ditched my old habit of always having to do things for myself. Even those things I know very little about. Like transferring files and setting up a new computer.

I remember the last time I did that all too well. It wasn’t pretty.

But, yesterday, everything seemed to be going so well. I got the computer out of the box and got it all set up. I turned it on and like magic, it started walking me through the steps to transfer applications and data from my laptop to my new desktop. Easy peasy.

Then it happened. Most everything I had stored in the cloud wouldn’t sync. No matter what I did. I tried everything. Read through the online manual, tried a restart (or two or three). I could see my photos and files on my laptop, but nothing I did made them show up on my new desktop. My husband was just waiting for the meltdown to start. Last time I got so upset he and both Bouviers wouldn’t come near. I was close to tears but determined to figure it out on my own. When I look back on it, I realize how foolish it was. 

I started to freak out last night, so I printed off a couple of documents that I didn’t want to get lost in cyberspace and just shut everything down. As Scarlett O’Hara would say, “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day.” Didn’t give it another thought until this morning. My how things have changed.

I tried to get the files to sync again this morning, and the results were the same. But, here’s the difference when you let go of old habits that haven’t really served you well (like being stubborn and trying to do everything yourself) and when you put yourself in the right mindset.

I recognized that I know just enough to be seriously dangerous when it comes to computer technology. I asked for help from the experts. It’s called support and it’s there for many reasons, one of which is to keep users like me from falling off a cliff, having a panic attack or seriously messing up a brand new computer.

My support guy was amazing. But, he had to consult with at least four other experts, including one “super expert.” And, it took over an hour to resolve. Five experts working on my technical issue for over an hour? I didn’t feel so seriously dangerous anymore. Especially when most of the troubleshooting ideas were things I had already tried. But, I’m grateful he stuck with me for that hour and ever so grateful things are all okay now.

So, here are the lessons. Recognize your abilities and talent and accept that yours are different from others. Let’s be honest, not everyone is a computer genius. I know for sure I’m not wired that way. It’s not a character flaw and it doesn’t make me less of a person. It’s just not one of my many talents. And, it’s perfectly okay. That’s what makes us unique. So, go ahead and try to fix the problem yourself, but pay attention to your mindset and your mood. If you fix it, great! You can pat yourself on the back. But, if you’re not getting anywhere and you’re getting more and more frustrated, it’s time (and perfectly okay) to ask someone for help.

That’s how you check yourself before you wreck yourself. And, let me be clear. These lessons aren’t just for fixing computer issues, they can be applied to any situation in life. It’s always perfectly okay to ask for help.