After years of personal training, and almost two years of online coaching, it has become natural for me to notice and take down what a client's barriers to a healthier lifestyle may be when we begin working together.
I'm sure you won't be surprised to hear that time is the number one limiting factor most people who have been wanting to improve their health or fitness in some way, face. People mostly express that they don't have the time or energy to somehow fit a workout in, let alone the time to prepare a healthy meal. We obviously can't create more time, so once a person expresses that they're too busy and have no time, I start to dig a little deeper.
All of my current clients are female, and on the surface it would appear that time is the most common limiting factor between them. Yes, it is time-related, and yet once we start getting to the nitty gritty of how they want their life to look in comparison to how it looks right now, a different commonality starts showing up; overwhelm. Not surprisingly, I can see it in my own life as well.
Many of us feel overwhelmed because we put other people and other priorities before ourselves and, for whatever reason, we haven't asked for any help.
We may unconsciously make the excuse that it's 'time,' to trivialise it somewhat. We may say, "I don't have enough time" to give our brains permission not to find a solution. Have you ever sat down and thought "How can I find the time?" it gives your brain permission to fire-up and work on finding a fix!
This leads me to why? Why do we let ourselves get to this point of overwhelm? I believe to a certain degree that labels have something to do with it.
Being SO busy all the time has almost become a badge of honour. Women seem to only be referred to as Super-Mums if they're barely holding it together, feeling like they must be able to do everything for their family, having no time for themselves whilst also not complaining about it.
Don't get me wrong, these women are awesome! But shouldn't it also be considered 'Super' or 'Strong' to be able to recognise that you deserve time to yourself? Or be able to ask for help with the chores or the cooking and shouldn't have to do everything yourself without a hint of exasperation?!
I'm sure there are guys out there who feel the same, and of course the exact same scenario applies to them too.
If you feel like you're struggling to stay afloat with work, kids, bills, household chores, or any other responsibilities, it doesn't make you a weak person or even a bad person to ask somebody for a little bit of help. It makes you a strong person, because you know that you deserve to live the life you want to live.
I'm most definitely guilty of not asking for help with keeping the house tidy for example. And I realise now that if I ask my husband for help, he'll do it without argument (whether he likes it or not) because he cares about me and he also knows that I don't like cleaning either. My problem used to be that I would think, "Well I might as well do it because he's busy, or he'll refuse, or it'll cause an argument". My assumptions turned out to be false and were also unfair to my husband.
Now, I'm aware that not everybody has a partner from whom to ask for help. But I'm willing to bet that you have at least one friend or family member who will do what they can, no matter how big or small, to help you out, because they believe sometimes you deserve to put yourself first. Even if it's only to take the kids for a few hours a week so you can have some time to do something for yourself. Or maybe they would pick up some shopping for you because they're going anyway and they know it'll ease the pressure somewhat. We won't know until we ask.
Overall, what I'm getting at is: you're still an important person when you're not so busy, and you're still a Super-Mum/Dad if you need help from others. The thing that makes all of us stronger, is being able to admit that we deserve to come first sometimes, and that we deserve to want to try to live a happier life.
And if that means asking for support from others, then so be it.