Being a successful woman who wants to stop overeating can be very lonely. It’s not unusual to hear from a new coaching client that she feels disconnected and isolated. She might feel too busy to reach out and if she does, she tends not to share the struggles or topics that are nearest and dearest to her heart.
Raise your hand if you too are pretty good at looking like you’ve got it under control when on the inside you feel out of balance, stressed, overloaded, or unhappy with how you are taking care of yourself.
Let’s face it. Busy successful women may talk about their weight or complain about not making it to the gym, but the pain of feeling ineffective or trapped in vicious cycles with emotional eating or stress, or feeling scared that you can’t take control of this area of your life is usually a topic successful women keep to themselves.
I get it. It’s not something you probably want to shout about to everyone, but if you’re going it alone and telling yourself that you just need to work harder, be tougher, and have more willpower, you are missing out on one of the most powerful tools for change there is—high-quality help and support.
Why do we downplay the importance of support when it comes to taking control of emotional eating and creating better life balance, wellness, and happiness?
I don’t know for sure, but I have a few ideas.
Many successful people are especially uncomfortable being unsuccessful at anything. When you’ve always done well, you don’t tend to learn how to publicly fail or be vulnerable about weaknesses. If your identity is built around being successful, you may worry about being judged. And if you’ve never let real, high-quality help in, you may also be in the dark about what a refreshing relieving, success tool this can be.
Just in case you are walking around with the secretly held belief that
(a) no one could really help you, or
(b) if you shared your situation with someone they would probably be as hard on you as you are on yourself (and tell you you’re just not working hard enough), or
(c) “help” just means someone sitting on the sidelines saying ridiculously unhelpful things like, “Go You! You can do it!”
I’d like to offer a different perspective.
Here are a few reasons to consider asking for help
1) Help (qualified, respectful, welcome help) brings with it a fresh perspective. When it’s just you talking to yourself, you probably aren’t even aware of the negativity, the dead ends, and the “this is the way it has to be done” approach you may be taking.
Putting your situation into words and hearing how they sound to someone else can sometimes be an instant breath of fresh air. Have you ever had that experience where someone easily tosses back a simple reframe or another perspective that never would have occurred to you but changes everything?
It happens all the time when I begin working with a new client. Letting help in can be like turning on the lights in a room that has never had electricity. Want to learn to be kinder to yourself or develop mindsets that create success? It’s much easier when you involve someone else in the process.
2) You aren’t alone. When you have a mentor, a coach, or a guide, someone else knows your big dream and knows when you are having a difficult time. Trustworthy help is going to be honest with you if your dream is a crazy, impossible stretch. But they are also going to hold the belief and the confidence and the conviction for you when they know your dream is totally possible.
When you doubt yourself, they are going to remind you why you can do this (and help you figure out the how). When you fall down, get off track, or completely forget what you were supposed to be doing, they are going to teach you how to be gentle with yourself AND get back in line (instead of beating yourself up, bingeing on carbs, and feeling hopeless).
3) You deserve the best tools. Working harder isn’t always the best approach and it won’t get you anywhere if you are working in the wrong direction or using tools that don’t do the job. Struggles and vicious cycles are almost always signs that you could benefit from a different strategy, tool, or approach, and it may be something that all the hard work in the world will never create for you.
If you’re someone who believes that help is an extravagance, consider that sometimes a short conversation or a little bit of education can save you years of struggle and failure.
My challenge to you: start letting more help in. Every day.
Are you ready to work with an emotional eating coach?