Um, excuse me, but I actually have no idea what I’m doing…

This post is a follow-up to the post I just published on living a dream and setting a goal for yourself. If you haven’t already, please read “Living Your Dream” before continuing to finish this post, because I can guarantee you that things will make a lot more sense that way 🙂

So now you’ve got this goal that you want to accomplish. And you’ve committed to it 100% that you’re going to complete this goal, whatever it may be, no matter what happens. No matter if you’re faced with resistance, no matter if you’re too tired to work, no matter what. You are ready to go, right? You’re super excited, you’re fired up and you’re willing to get things done. You’re making to-do lists, you’re marking your calendar. You’ve got everything under control. 

So then, you start working. It’s really hard at the beginning but you keep going and then you find yourself understanding what it’s like to be living a dream. Things are looking great. You’re comfortable.

But then (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?), you hit a wall. You get to a point in whatever you’re working on when you realize that you have absolutely no clue what you’re doing. You don’t know what to do next, you have a lot of unanswered questions, you aren’t really sure why you’re doing this anymore. You really need to ask for help. But maybe you haven’t made your goal public and you don’t have the courage to ask for help. Or maybe you don’t know who to ask. Or you don’t know how to ask. Or you’re scared that people are going to judge you for not knowing all the answers even though you’ve already started working for your goal. 

At this point, you have two options, and this may seem very obvious for you, but just bear with me. Option 1: You stay where you are–miserable and confused and not really sure what you’re doing. You continue working toward your goal but you’re not as excited as you used to be, but you’re definitely not going to lower yourself by asking someone for help. Or Option 2: You ask for help. Yeah, I’m making it seem like it’s super easy to just walk up to someone and ask for help, but if you’re like me, you have to realize that asking someone for help is actually very difficult for some people, including me.

So when I passed the stage of excitement and started to do my research with my technology teacher, we eventually hit a wall, just like I was talking about in this post. We had no idea what we were doing, we had no experience in fundraising, we had no direct contact with any professionals in Egypt, and there were a million questions that were sitting around, unanswered. And that’s when Ms. Murakami suggested that we reach out to a nonprofit who has already established ties in Egypt such that they could help us get this project started and be our aid all along the way.

But as soon as she suggested that we do some research and find some nonprofits, I found myself a little bit upset. I really didn’t want to get another organization involved. A huge part of me really wanted Laptops for Egypt to be MY project, and no one else’s. I was being incredibly selfish and not realizing that without another organization, there was absolutely no way that I was going to do this all by myself. NO WAY ON EARTH. So while my technology teacher did some research on organizations, I spent a couple of days sulking. I was feeling a little bit prideful. I didn’t want anyone else to take control of my project. 

After a couple of days of being mad, I got over my pride and started talking to my parents and grandparents who pointed out Hands Along the Nile as a great resource for me. One email and five days later, I had myself a deal to Skype with the executive director of Hands Along the Nile once I returned from winter break, and then the rest is history, of course. 

Had I not broken out of that prideful stage (and I wasn’t completely willing to do so, even when I did) I would never have connected with Hands Along the Nile and this project would not be where it is today. I’ve learned that by admitting you need help, it’s not a weakness as many of us envision it to be, but rather it shows much strength. It takes a lot of courage to step up and admit that you have no idea what you’re doing and that you need some advice. It’s so much better to step up and ask for help rather than pretending like you know what you’re talking about, when you clearly don’t, and then having your goals delayed because you are too scared to ask for help. 


Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Um, excuse me, but I actually have no idea what I’m doing…

  1. Ferial Kheir

    Dear Sarah,

    I salute your honesty, your sincerity…Many adults don’t have the courage that you have … they have too much pride uncovering their true feelings the way you do…We are so proud of you.


    • Thank you so much for your kind words! I have recently decided that even though I don’t like to admit when I make mistakes, I want other people to learn from my mistakes, too.

  2. Christine Murakami

    This is incredibly insightful Sarah. At your age, asking for help was the LAST thing I wanted to do. I learned over time that most of the time, no one person can do it all. Asking for help has always served me well!

    • Ms. Murakami,
      Where do I even begin to describe how thankful I am for all the help you have given me throughout this entire process. It was because of your gut reaction almost a year ago to reach out to a nonprofit for help that we did so, and thus we found Hands Along the Nile. And had we not found them, none of this would ever have happened. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for teaching me so much about myself and so much about life (like how to ask for help) since last December. You’re the greatest!

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