Asking for Help is Not Weakness or Giving Up
Well. Just did two things I've never done before. I posted a video of myself deadlifting yesterday on my Instagram Stories, and then I just posted a full-body mirror selfie on Instagram for the purposes of this message. Recently I asked one of my old co-workers from Equinox and trusted fellow trainer to train me and program for me. This may come as a surprise or even might make some of you confused-- after all, I'm a trainer, so why on earth would I need someone to train me?
Two primary reasons: Firstly, I am busier and more stressed than I've ever been, leaving me very little brain + energy left to be a coach to myself. My second reason is that for the first time in my life, I actually gave zero fucks about working out and the fact that I was getting softer.
After the past 2-3 months of barely scraping a workout in here and there, my jeans were a little harder to breathe in. I was going on a bachelorette with a bunch of other beautiful girls in bikinis, and I completely startled myself when I realized I had no anxiety over this. This is galaxies away from how a younger me would have felt. It was an amazingly liberating mindset that I'm very proud of having, after years of hard work of eating disorder recovery, but it also made me continue feeling zero desire or motivation to choose working out over hustling for this passion project whenever I had a spare 30 minutes of time-- because I was comfortable in my own skin.
It was only when I recently started feeling out of shape, as in I felt sluggish/weak, that I knew it was time to find my way back to the saddle. I missed feeling as athletic and powerful as I was when I took this photo below last July, taken to capture the feeling of how kickass I FELT back then and not just LOOKED- that was a body that was able to crank out pullups, deadlift over 200lb, hike up Mount Rainier, and could protect myself if I needed it.
But the problem was, I still didn't give a crap enough and didn't really care. And I've wisened up enough to trust myself through the ebbs and flows that I'll care again and my priorities will shift and balance out. But I also knew I needed really needed the help this time. So I got it.
So why is that such a weird thing?
It isn't. And I'm telling you guys about it because there is such a stigma around asking for help when you need it. A trainer asking another trainer to train her? What, is she not good enough to train herself? She can't motivate herself? How is she supposed to motivate her clients if she can't even motivate her own ass?
THIS is why we suffer. We listen to those fears and acquiesce to our ego-driven human selves, and we silently suffer because we are scared to seek help-- making us the only ones who really lose.
People don't talk about their problems or ask for help for fear of admitting weakness and incompetence. Asking for help has the stigma of, "I couldn't handle my own problems by myself." Of course I had these worries and anxiety about people thinking those things. I had the same fears when I sought therapy for dealing with my eating disorder and anxiety. But I pressed forward anyway because after reflecting on it, it's utterly ridiculous, and I no longer have a single ounce of shame about it-- in fact, I'm so proud of myself for taking action before I derailed my life with it.
It's SO ironic, really, isn't it?? Stigmas surround every channel of self-help for problems like this everywhere. They cripple us from thriving and end up giving us even more serious problems in the end.
People are afraid to seek counseling for everything from PTSD, marital problems, eating disorders, depression, addictions, sexual assault, or general hardship because there is this ridiculous stigma around seeking help or therapy.
People feel ashamed of talking about their AA meetings because it supposedly implies weakness.
People have a hard time refusing alcohol or drugs in social situations because it makes them look "weird," even though they're doing so for their health and happiness.
Why on earth are there judgments and stigmas around making the smart and brave decision to seek help in the areas where we can't do it by ourselves?
NO ONE is superwoman or Superman. We all have hardships we struggle with, and sometimes that load is too much for one person to handle or its not efficient to tackle that bear all by yourself. People who grew up with parents or people around them, who told them to just suck it up, man up, and deal with it-- if you've ever heard, "back in my day, we just grit our teeth and got through it." Well guess what, Grandpa, our world is far more complex than ever and times have changed since your day. We also have the resources now to deal with things we didn't before, so why should we suffer when there is help available?
We wait to ask for help until it's too late.
We wait until our addictions destroy our lives.
We wait until our relationships fall apart.
We wait to hire a nutritionist until our cholesterol is dangerously high.
We wait til our PTSD cause us to commit violent acts.
We wait until we are dangerously overweight and unhappy to hire a trainer.
We wait until our sexual assault that we buried renders us incapable of having intimacy and vulnerability.
We wait until our eating disorder gives us all kinds of health issues.
We wait until cancer strikes to deal with personal growth because life's timeline suddenly gets threatened.
Let's stop waiting. Let's reject the stigma that seeking additional support is a negative thing. In order to thrive and live our fullest lives, we need to be able to outsource certain areas when we need to, and without shame. Let's encourage and support each other for these things, so that one day that stigma is just a thing of the past.