I bet you wish this was about booty shaking and early 90’s hip hop, don’t you?!?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as exciting as all that but I do want to talk about something that’s vital if you are looking to make a change in your life. And that’s having a support system.
Whether it’s your significant other, your best buddy, your family, or even a coach, it makes a HUGE difference in how you get through life changes.
Change is HARD!
Changes, even small ones, can turn your world upside down. It could be that you are starting a new diet program, just joined a gym, started a new job, quit an old job, or ended a relationship.
Although it might not seem it at the time, trying to internalize these big moves can be highly stressful and can potentially fuck you up if you try to handle them yourself.
For example, starting a new diet is no big deal, right? Millions of people do it every day. Statistics are a bit fuzzy on this, but I’ve read that anywhere from 80-98% of all diets fail. Failure meaning that the person gained back most or all of the weight lost.
Why is that? Most people end up doing it alone and fail hence why accountability programs like Weight Watchers have higher success rates.
Perhaps you’ve had the experience of starting a diet and have little or no background in fitness/nutrition. And let’s say you are doing the uber popular Paleo Diet.
You are going to follow the diet to the “T”, but don’t know really why you can’t eat certain foods. How likely is it that you are going to stick with an eating regime that removes all processed foods and sugar but also dairy, rice, pasta, and beans?
If you are used to eating the typical American diet which is high in all of those things, you will struggle. I’ve spent months eating Paleo style and I can tell you it’s fucking hard. And fitness is my business.
Now imagine that your three best friends are doing it with you and you plan to meet other every day to check in with each other. Would you be more likely to stick to it? Of course because now you are accountable.
Having someone to call you out and keep you to your word is key. It can make or break you in many situations, not just this dieting example. This is an overly simple example but it works in every facet of your life.
You Need A Rock
When I quit my job in 2013, it was an extremely difficult decision to leave my 11 year career behind. Leading up to the decision was pretty rough and I had terrible anxiety. Most people I spoke to were not in agreement with my pending decision and a few thought I was insane.
When I finally quit, I had a few friends that I called to tell the news to, but most people were caught up in their own lives to really be a true support system. It was like “good for you, man. You finally did it!” And that was about it.
But what I did have however was a girlfriend who was a rock. She knew my job situation and how miserable it had made me and became the person I could turn to when I had doubts and fears about such a big life change.
Without her support, I don’t know what what would have happened. When I was sad, she was there. When I was upset, she was there. When I was confused, she was there.
And although I never once regretted quitting, I had plenty of times where the fear of not having enough money and being able to survive crept into my head. And she was there to remind me why I quit and what I could accomplish going forward.
She had my back regardless of what I was emotion I was dealing with and it made all the difference.
I don’t have to tell you this but going through a divorce straight up fucking sucks. It was the worst thing that I’ve ever had to deal with and tore my heart into shreds. Being away from my two daughters was insanely difficult and I often cried myself to sleep thinking about them.
After I separated, I spent most of the first year in a state of misery. I woke up sad, worked a job I loathed all day, went to bed, and repeated. I didn’t call my friends and barely spoke to my family. I chose to isolate myself and deal with the pain with the only way I knew how; through loneliness and despair.
Not exactly the healthiest way to deal with my situation I know…
And then one day I reconnected with an old friend who took one look at my sorry state of being and committed to being my rock.
Why I share this you this is not to tell you how great she is (she is though), but rather to tell you that you need to find one or more people who can be your rock when you need it.
Quitting your job to pursue a freelance writing career is scary as shit. Leaving your husband of 25 years is petrifying. Committing to losing 50 pounds is too.
You cannot have a better life unless you get better as a person. And to become a better person takes sacrifice, determination, commitment and change. And those can all be very scary words.
Trying to take on these things by yourself, when shit gets heavy and you are fucking mess, is a quick way to failure.
I know you want a better life. I know you want to be in better shape, have more fulfillment in your career, be happier at home, and to have more energy to play with your kids.
Those things come at a cost. You have to make changes to get them, mentally and physically. And doing them alone is not the answer. I sincerely hope you have a spouse or significant other who is your rock and I believe that’s the way it should be. But this certainly isn’t true in all cases and many times they will work against you, unwittingly sabotaging your dreams and chances for success and happiness.
But regardless of who it is, if you are making a life transition, find someone you can count on that genuinely cares about you as a person and is willing to commit to your success. It’s not easy to find that person, but they are there….
Who has been your rock or have you been someone else’s?