I have always struggled with the “it is easier to beg for forgiveness than ask permission” mentality. I know this is a mantra for many, and sometimes, depending on where you work, it makes sense. I am someone who gets bad anxiety and wants to do right by those I work with, so it is not something I have ever embraced.
One mantra I do believe; it is better to ask for help too early rather than too late.
When I first became a teacher, I asked for a ton of help from my colleagues. The same is true for every position I have done since and pretty much every endeavor I have taken on personally and professionally. There are people who have done my job before me and have a ton of knowledge and experience that I don’t. Not only does it help me in the process, but it shows that I value the wisdom and experience of others.
This doesn’t mean I don’t value my judgment and sometimes decide to take my own path. But if someone has taken the path before me, I appreciate learning from their journey.
But there can be a fear that if you ask too many questions, it will show incompetence in your work. That is ego getting in the way of doing great work. There is a difference between asking questions to garner wisdom as opposed to asking so you never have to learn the way on your own.
We all make mistakes along our journeys, but if I can limit those mistakes by tapping into others, I know in the long term, I will not only save time but grow along the way. There are times where I spent more time fixing a problem in which I didn’t ask for help than I spent time asking for advice in the first place.