During a recent podcast interview an interesting point came up that I would like to elaborate on. This was a GPS tracking device themed podcast and I was interviewed to provide some health insight for this physically demanding industry. The topic of ‘men asking for help’ came up and the host, Tomas Keenan and I both agreed that it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.
Men Are Often Raised to be “Manly”
When I was growing up, I remember being taught that being a man meant figuring most things out on your own. If we got a cut or a wound we were told to “suck it up and rub some dirt on it.” If we were going through tough times emotionally, we were told that “real men don’t cry.” There are a ton of other examples but you get my point. Men are conditioned at a young age to figure things out on their own and therefore can grow up feeling inadequate if they ask for help. There is certainly a place for men to be tough and resilient when their families are counting on them to be emotionally strong. However, this certainly does not mean that men should bottle up their problems and avoid asking for help because it’s absolutely OK to ask for help.
The Potential Risk of Not Asking for Help
Personally, I have vivid memories of many instances in my life where I have refused to ask for help. In fact, I can remember countless times in my past when I was driving around lost but would refuse to stop and ask for directions because it wasn’t “manly.” This put me in many unfavorable situations and luckily nothing negative happened. Also, when I think back to my own health transformation, I was extremely reluctant to ask for help in the beginning. Often times we know what we SHOULD be doing. But what we should be doing and what we ARE doing aren’t always aligned with what is best for us. I remember my doctor telling me that my cholesterol and triglycerides were elevated and my blood pressure was also creeping up. I can only imagine how bad it would have gotten had I not asked for help. Health is wealth and without it we don’t have much. Being a “man” is great but when you are struggling with your health you are up against time and that is a dangerous game to play.
The Potential Reward of Asking for Help
During our interview, Tomas brought up the fact that he had no problem asking for help when he was struggling with his business. He knew how valuable time was and getting help with his business has paid off greatly. He then talked about making the decision to ask for help with his health after asking for help with his business. Once he did it was like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders and now his health is improving each and every day and he feels great. He’s glad he realized it’s OK to ask for help. I then brought up my experience with asking for help and becoming part of a community who wanted to lift me up. There is nothing more powerful than community when it comes to your health. Being part of a common goal much greater than your own personal goals is extremely helpful and motivating, especially when everyone wants you to do well. I have also asked for help multiple times with my business and I am proud that I did. Another example is mental health and the challenges that can come along with it. This is obviously an extremely important area for men to be willing to ask for help. The potential reward of asking for help in any area of life is well worth the vulnerability required to ask for help in the first place. It’s OK to ask for help and in certain situations it could even save a person’s life.
For many generations there has been a social stigma placed around men asking for help. To this day I have men in my life who refuse to ask for help in just about any scenario they are in. Traditionally, men can be quite stubborn when it comes to asking for help, myself included and this stems from years and years of being told we need to be “manly.” But ultimately time is our most valuable asset and nobody gets time back. Any man who asks for help is potentially saving time as well as gaining better overall health among numerous other benefits. Again it’s OK to ask for help.