Why "I need help'" is one of the most self-empowering, liberating statements you could possibly say.
This one is loaded.
I want to normalise asking for help.
I want to normalise the idea that someone can be struggling. And regardless of if they seem "to have it all" Or if they shouldn’t show weakness because they’re in a position of responsibility (be it with family, friends or in business/work).
Let’s normalise understanding our mind. Let’s normalise untangling our thoughts. Let’s normalise feeling and listening to our emotions. All these things are there for a reason. And they are all NORMAL.
Somewhere along the way we got tricked into thinking we are supposed to be these perfect beings that don’t have lows or moments of deep darkness. We’ve become accustomed to putting on a smile and just answering "yeah, I’m good" automatically.
Toxic positivity has killed the normality of « bad » emotions - anger, frustration, fear, doubt… They’re there for a reason ! An emotion is a chemical reaction in the brain with so many variables. Most of us see emotions as a word that must never be spoken, something to avoid and something to hide.
I speak to the most amazing people daily, my clients, friends, perfect strangers and a common theme always comes up. They are lead to believe they shouldn’t be feeling certain things or that they are « a bad person » for even entertaining an idea.
Nobody on this planet has their shit together 100% of the time. Absolutely no one. What you see on social media is a snippet of a fraction of what we call space time. It is not reality.
And please don’t think I have my shit together either because I don’t, and I too, struggle with so many different things. Sometimes daily, sometimes not. I still to this day find it hard to ask for help too.
From hundreds of conversations I’ve come to notice this - The better someone seemingly looks on the outside, the more they may be struggling with something internally. (Speaking for myself once here too 🙃)
There are ways to make your mind work in your favour but it is impossible to control it.
The mind is such a beautiful tool yet it can destroy us. But equally the mind is so complex that even the biggest scientists, psychologists and researchers still haven’t got to the bottom of how it works in its entirety.
Your heart’s role, for example, is to pump your blood throughout your body. If you feel your heart is no longer functioning properly, what do you do ? You go to a specialist.
Why is it some of us are still petrified with the idea of asking to understand their mind a little more? If your mind is producing 500 thoughts a minute it is not really working in your favour.
You are not your thoughts. Just as you are not your heart. Nor are you your blood pumping through your veins.
The thoughts are a byproduct of the mind. Just like the blood pumping through your body is a byproduct of the heart working properly.
Let’s normalise asking for help. And maybe replace “I need help” by “I just want to understand my mind. Can we talk? "
Try saying to someone “you know what, I’ve been struggling with xyz”.
Or "actually I'm finding xyz really hard at the minute". You might be surprised by what that fraction of vulnerability brings you in terms of opening a deeper connection to someone (and yourself!). Try it. You might be surprised at what they say back…
We are human. We are all wired the same. And we all struggle with the same shit, every single day. Only everyone will have a different approach, definition or perspective of the thing they struggle with. And that’s what makes us all so unique but equally the same.
As is often the case in life, language is often limiting. Part of the issue might just lie in our use of words. I’d love your thoughts on what to replace the all-dreaded "I need help" by. Something softer, something that feels more empowering. Something that places the strength in seeking to understand.
Here are mine so far (feel free to add to them):
I need help understanding my mind
I need to unpack my thoughts
I need a safe space to express what’s running through my mind
I need to let off some brain steam
I can’t make sense of what’s going through my mind. Can you help me?
I want to normalise creating a safe space for anyone to be able to say "I’m struggling with x right now". (read more about this here)
Always feel free to start any sentence to me with those words.
And be sure you’ll be met with an ear and no judgment.