Mel Robbins: Get What You Need

UPDATED: July 1, 2011
PUBLISHED: July 1, 2011

I walked across the hotel lobby and headed for my room. The smell hit me immediately: popcorn, 400 feet away in the lobby bar. The only problem was my heel was killing me from jumping into a huge fountain the night before (I’ll explain later), and I didn’t want to limp the extra distance to get the popcorn.

The scent followed me onto the elevator and into my room. I kicked off my shoes, climbed onto the bed and turned on the TV. I could still smell that darn popcorn. Then the phone rang.

It was Rosalind. She is the field coordinator on my new television series for A&E, Inlaws. She reminded me we were meeting in the lobby in 30 minutes to head back to the set and shoot the next scene. And then she asked, “Do you need anything?”

And before I had time to think, I said, “Yeah, some of that popcorn downstairs. It smelled amazing!”

Rosalind said, “You got it,” and then hung up the phone.

I was mortified. I didn’t mean for her to actually get it. I was just joking. I called her right back but she didn’t pick up. I sent her a text: “just kidding.” But it was too late.

She knocked on the door of my hotel room and I hobbled over to answer it. “Rosalind, I am so sorry! I feel so bad that I made you come all the way up here.” She looked at me funny. And then read me the riot act.

“Are you kidding me, girl? Do you know what my job is? My job is to take care of everyone on this crew. And your job is to be ‘on’ and change that family’s life. If you don’t get what you need, how the hell are you going to influence the families who need your help?”

The smell of popcorn filled the room. And so did Rosalind’s point. I’d been so busy trying to not “bother” anyone on the crew, I was not getting the support I needed to be my best. I wasn’t asking for help.

Same thing with my heel. When we jumped into a fountain and climbed to the very top of it for a scene in the show the previous day, I hadn’t asked for help either.

One of the crew members extended his hand on my way down and said, “Let me help you.”

I replied, “I’m good. I’ve got this.” What I got was a deeply bruised heel when I jumped off a 6-foot drop into shin-deep water.

I hate asking for help, but Rosalind reminded me that people need me. And if I don’t have what I need, how the heck can I influence true change for the families on our show? Rosalind also reminded me that when I ask her for support, she gets to be a part of influencing these families too. I thanked her for the talk and the popcorn. And I hobbled back over to the bed. The phone rang. It was Chris, my husband. “I’m so glad you called. I wanted to thank you, Chris.”

“For what?”

“For all the support you give me. You manage the three-ring circus at home while I’m on the road. It’s a huge amount of work, and it allows me to do my best with these families. Your support of me is changing the lives of every single family on this show.”

There was silence for a moment. He said, “Thanks, I needed to hear that. Our kids are driving me crazy. Wonderfully crazy.”

You are very influential when you want to be. Yes, you. The question is, Are you asking for the support you need?

Mel Robbins is a contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine, best-selling author, CNN commentator, creator of the “5 Second Rule” and the busiest female motivational speaker in the world. To find out more, visit her website: To follow her on Twitter: