You have a dream, you know what you want, and you are still struggling to get it.
This predicament is one that many face, and yes, it is your fault.
There is no doubt the world is filled with challenges and will continue to throw them at you at the most inconvenient times. Take, for example, the story of Jason.
Jason was a young and upcoming world-class climber. He was on his way. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Jason would go on to become a sponsored climber and travel the world doing what he loved.
In 2008, while climbing in a local area, he witnessed a climber near him fall. The climber got evacuated, and Jason supported the rescue. At the hospital, the novice climber succumbed to his injuries. It was a tragic story.
That incident impacted Jason in many different ways. Emotionally, physically, physiologically and ultimately changed the course of his life.
Jason knew resilience. He had spent a lot of time in the mountains and was no stranger to cold, hard work and physical effort.
In the days and weeks after the event, Jason began to feel different. He described it as a feeling of imploding, like he was disconnecting from what he loved in this world. Family, friends and climbing didn't have the allure that it used to. He began to withdraw.
Despite feeling different, Jason couldn't understand what was happening to him. Physiologically something hand changed, and he knew it but had no idea what to do.
Loved ones and friends asked Jason if he was alright, to which he would contain how he truly felt and answer, "I'm good."
Jason fell into a trap that many do, the inability to ask for help.
Asking for help is the most difficult in challenging moments. At the same time, it is an imperative time to ask for help. Jason knew that the circumstances he faced when he witnessed that climbing accident were significant, but viewed himself as weak or broken if he needed help dealing with the experience.
It is easy to see how this idea of weakness gets forged. I think everyone has a relationship with feeling weak; that most might care not to admit. And just like Jason learned, that relationship comes at a price.
I recall many moments in my life when I got told to suck it up, sunshine and get on with it. I do believe the advice was given with the greatest love and intent. It does have a significant impact on how we develop the ability to show and accept our emotions. In those moments, years later, I realized that this sort of advice comes more from the discomfort of the other person's feelings than it does at soothing the one in pain.
Now, we all haven't experienced an accident like Jason; this is true, and some may argue that it makes total sense on how things played out.
Did you know that losing your job, being in a divorce, having a car accident (even minor), working at a stress-filled organization can all have the same adverse effects that Jason's situation had?
It is time that everyone stops fucking around and admits to themselves and others that life is draining, anxiety-inducing and extremely challenging at times.
Once we stop fucking around by rationalizing and intellectualizing the experiences that are
happening, the real business of healing can begin.
I met a leader who worked in a high-pressure role for years. Talking to him, you would think that he had all his shit together. He could articulate himself brilliantly, make decisive decisions with ease, and seemed to have time for everyone. The truth was that he got caught in the fucking around trap.
He continually denied the stress he was experiencing. He kept living by the narrative that he learned in his life. Forge on, no matter what the circumstances. They are brilliant narratives that created the success he had in life, but they were no longer working the way they used to.
The stories that he was telling himself prevented him from embracing himself as a whole person and asking for help. He 'burnt-out' and crashed. It took him two years to recover.
He often reflects in our conversations about "If only I could have asked for help."
What is the aversion to asking for help?
Why do you think it is so difficult? Are you one of those people?
There is a world constructed around providing help and support to others. Coaches, therapists, counsellors, physiotherapists, and the list goes on. They are only accessible if you ask.
Mental health plays a factor in everyone's life, and the health system is bracing for these modern challenges to push people to the breaking point.
My suggestion is not to wait until you break, crash or become disconnected from the world. The ride back, speaking from experience, is much more complicated than the maintenance. However, my experience with it all was I need to break before I realized how much I needed help in the first place.
I will close with these two questions. Where can you use more inner support in your life? And where can you get that support?
The rest is up to you.