I am not a teacher, but an awakener, Robert Frost.
What is a teacher? I’ll tell you: it isn’t someone who teaches something, but someone who inspires the student to give of her best in order to discover what she already knows, Paulo Coelho.
Asking for “help” is a way to cope with difficulties. One of the most efficient ways to get help is to team up with a mentor that guides you every step of the way.
A mentor is someone who can take you under his or her wings, and nurture your career. It is someone that you can feel comfortable with, someone you can trust. If you want to find him or her, you may follow these guidelines:
Think what your strengths and weaknesses are, what you really need, what you are looking for, what goals you want to achieve, what areas of your life you want to improve: health, professional career, parenting, etc.
Identify the people you know, respect, and admire, those who have the skills and competencies that you lack and are looking for, those who have been able to overcome many obstacles and difficulties and consequently, have a vast accumulated experience of many years.
They might be close relatives (one of your parents, your husband or wife, your older brother or sister, your uncle, etc.), people in your church (a catechist, a priest, a pastor, etc.), business (a colleague, a boss), friends, professional mentors, on-line mentoring, etc.
You can also consider listening and imitating people who may not be accessible to you, but they can still serve you as valid role models or mentors. Besides the obvious limitations, you can learn from them.
Once you find the right person(s), invite them for a coffee or lunch and ask them tactfully to be your mentor. Be sure to let them know what you want from this relationship. Do not waste their time with frivolous issues. Let them know exactly what you want from them (frequency and duration of the meetings, what topics or issues are going to be addressed), and always be organised, committed, and on time.
Do not assume a mode of mentoring (for instance, a typical face to face meeting is always needed), a constant frequency (weekly, fortnightly, monthly, etc.), and duration (half an hour, one or two hours). Relationships by email or phone may be perfectly OK.
Maybe, you only need one or two meetings for the mentor to give you the advice, experience, or encouragement that you need for a particular problem or situation. Perhaps, you can use two or three mentors who will facilitate the support and guidance you need so you do not bother, annoy, or tire any of them.
Do not constrain the format of the meeting in any way. For example, you can have a practical session and simulate a job interview or you can deliver a speech about a thesis, an academic presentation, or a business one.
Another idea might be to tell them about your current projects or problems, ideas to achieve or overcome them, and how you are getting on regarding your tasks and goals, so the mentor can provide you with constructive feedback, give you sound advice and guidance.
You should never take a relationship for granted. For instance, it is very important to be grateful and to learn to listen without interrupting what they have to say. Don’t let too much time pass without giving them a nice card, a small gift or token of appreciation, tickets to a show, etc.