I absolutely love the concept of using a disciplined positive mindset to make tangible changes, whether they be physiological or emotional. It is a common vein through much of the content I've contributed to this blog. Today's topic, however, is a bit of an unusual dose of personal anecdotes and vulnerability. The message I hope to convey is that there's tremendous value in embracing fear and uncomfortable situations as opportunities for personal growth. Equally as important, I also believe that it's important to have the courage and humility to ask for help.
It's been a crazy couple of years for me; I had to take some pretty significant time off of school and work to address some mental health issues. Over the recovery process, I've had opportunities to soak up information and advice from friends and colleagues about personal development. A past work colleague of mine, Michael, has been very helpful for me in that regard. When he's not posting on Facebook about going to the gym or different networking events, Michael has been very transparent with his network of friends about his struggles with his own personal development.
One thing I have noticed in a lot of these posts is that Michael LOVES being uncomfortable. Seems counterintuitive, right? It's true, Michael absolutely loves being uncomfortable. At the very least, he's trying to train himself to love being uncomfortable. Why? Michael has identified that for himself, being uncomfortable generally means that he's challenging himself intellectually, emotionally, or professionally. He figures that being uncomfortable is a way to kickstart some serious personal growth in whatever area he chooses. That is one of the most profound lessons.
Small Fish, Big Ocean
I've been trying to adopt this concept of embracing the feeling of being uncomfortable and doing things that scare me. At the start of this month, I signed a one month sublet for a place in Toronto, after being back home in Niagara for two years. It meant giving up a good job that paid me well with colleagues that I loved. Now here I am, a small fish in the very big waters of Toronto. I'll be honest with you, I'm terrified. I've been here for 11 days and not a day has gone by where I don't want to go home, back to my comfort zone.
How have I gotten through it? I've gained a lot of humility in the past two years. This time has taught me that it's okay to ask for help. For me, recovery only truly started after I had the courage to ask for help. And, let's be real, asking for help can be absolutely terrifying. It was for me. Unfortunately, there's no blueprint for finding that courage, but I must vehemently encourage you to do so. Reaching out to a professional on TranQool is a good first step. For me, facing my fears in this respect has paid back tenfold. I've been doing very regular counselling over the past two years and let me tell you, I wouldn't be where I am today without it.
Asking For Help
Beyond facing my fears in seeking professional help, I had to face them in opening up to my friends and family about my struggles. Personally, I've dealt with the feeling of being a burden, which is accompanied by a lot of guilt. However, by actually setting goals and giving the people in my life a specific way to help I have overcome these feelings of guilt. I've been amazed by how ready and willing people are to help. I've never had anyone be less than totally supportive. At the beginning of my recovery, that 'ask' might have been something as simple as "text me every day to make sure get out of bed".
Lately, my ‘ask’ has been more along the lines of leveraging the people in my network to try and drum up a job lead. In both situations though, I’ve found similar levels of enthusiasm from my friends and colleagues. When they are given a simple, tangible way that they can make a real difference for me they are more than willing to help. The end result is that I have felt extremely fortunate over the past two years to feel surrounded by people who I know love and care about me. I believe that’s because I learned to face my fears and ask for help. I hope something of what I've offered here can be helpful for either you or someone you know.
Once again, I must endorse seeking some professional counselling help, be it through TranQool or otherwise.