Asking for help is never easy. By its very nature, seeking assistance involves a silent confession that what you’ve done, what you’ve tried has not or is no longer working.
It requires an unbelievable, heaving gulp of swallowing your pride.
But the actual act of asking is only half the battle. True courage is summoned in the inherent risk involved in following someone’s advice. Because while many are capable of listening, not all are comfortable following another’s direction. Doing so, after all, entails moving forward blindly, trusting an outside source for sight.
This is a common predicament we grapple with in the fitness industry. People come to us for help (which, I might add, almost always comes with a price tag) yet they then fail to meet us even halfway. It’s as if they approach saying “here’s my issue” and then follow it with “and here’s what I’m willing to do about it.” My response? Why bother asking if you really don’t want to hear what I have to say?
I say this, of course, with full recognition that my guidance may seem like its spoken in a different language. It likely involves recommendations so foreign that on the surface they fly in the face of what many have been led thus far to believe. But if you truly want to change – be it your body, your health or any other fundamental aspect of your life – abandoning old habits should be considered a prerequisite. I mean, if they were working, why would you be asking for help anyway?
Of course, this isn’t to suggest we throw all caution to the wind and place our fate into just anyone’s hands. Regrettably, our industry is littered with false experts and swollen egos, just biting at the chance to hear themselves speak. And since it’s not always easy to separate the posers from the true game-changers, you owe it to yourself to vet those on whom you choose to lean. Is someone speaking from experience or authority? And which one of those do you prefer to guide the way?
I can say I almost always put my stock in experience. I preach from that place and seek out those who have been in scenarios I wish to be. Because there’s something to be said for finding people worth following. The real magic happens, however, when you step back and allow them to lead.