Cheesy Fingers

24 Feb

I asked, “What big goals in your life have you had that you’ve achieved?”

She stated, “I found the man of my dreams….I have my masters degree….my career is incredibly rewarding.”

“Now,” I stated, “during the work you were engaged in to accomplish these goals, how often did you rely on others to help you? Who did you enlist as resources to assist you along the way?”

She smiled. “No one….I did it all on my own. I expect a lot of myself and feel like I shouldn’t need others to get where I want to go.”

She’s 48 years old. Successful. Striking, with green eyes, straight and lustrous, rich, hair that grazes her chin, and she’s dressed in a stylish patterned jacket and slacks. You can see she is a professional and from the moment she walked in, I was aware that appearance was important to her. She confirmed that she is out in public a lot and meets with many people on a daily basis. She manages a large group of individuals at her office. But she was not confident. On the outside perhaps, but her words conveyed the opposite.  “I am so uncomfortable in this body. I am not supposed to be this weight. I can’t fit in anything that I like. I don’t want to be around people and yet am required to be. I want to be out and feel confident when I am.”

I knew it was difficult for her to come see me and explain her story and what she was needing. She was holding back tears. It was why I asked her how often she has solicited the help of others in meeting her goals. She didn’t need to in the previous situations, but here she was, recognizing that after having tried too many times to count on both hands to lose weight and get healthy, that she needed to call on the expertise, knowledge, and support of another. Not an easy decision when you’re used to being so self-sufficient.

My meeting with her got me thinking about how many of us often operate with this belief that we need to do everything on our own. How often do I hear my clients say, “I didn’t ask because I didn’t want to bother you….” or “I thought I should try to figure it out myself.” And then how often do they get so frustrated and fed up that they give up? Way too many times than I’m comfortable saying. I cast out my fishing line and reel them back in, asking them to use that thought as a signal to ASK, not withdraw.

I am all for someone initially taking some responsibility and working to figure out a problem his/her own. What I do not agree with is that by asking for help one is weak and lazy and is going to ‘bother’ someone.

Not all of us have many people we can ask for help from. But remember, there are different types of support, from significant emotional (I need you to sit with me and just be with me as I cry) to informational support (Joe, can you tell me where you get your teeth cleaned). Look around AND outside of our circle. This woman asked a friend if she knew of anyone who could help her learn more about nutrition and how to keep weight of permanently. Her friend sent her to me.  I’m outside of her circle, but now she’s creating a bigger support network. She’ll come to classes that I teach, meet the other participants, create relationships there, further expanding her circle.

Don’ be afraid to reach out and ask for help. We can get many of our needs met from the people we are surrounded by. Even a snack here or there. 😉


2 Responses to “Cheesy Fingers”

  1. Jami February 24, 2011 at 8:45 PM #

    I can totally relate to this one Cori! I would add that besides not wanting to “bother” someone for help, I am telling myself that I’m not worthy of their help. Craziness! I’m going to work on that!!

  2. kpropst February 24, 2011 at 8:53 PM #

    Jami! You just got to the core of the issue for many! Takes a lot more courage to ask for help then it does to hold it all inside. What is the worst that can happen if you ask for help?
    In regards to “bothering” someone, there is a process I go through in deciding when and how to ask when I’ve determined that I do need help. Just like with communicating with someone or approaching someone regarding an issue that could potentially get emotional, it’s good to identify when the approach would be best, as well as how to go about it.
    Thanks for your comment!

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