Weak and needy are two different things


sportswomen at the start

How ‘needy’ do you think a starting quarterback on an NFL team is? How needy is an Olympic gold-medal athlete? I would say very needy, and for good reason. When we expect high performance from someone, we recognize the need to invest in that performance. This is why we have special diets, nutritionists, coaches, physical trainers, special equipment, gear, medicines, and physical therapy for someone who is asking their body to perform at a high caliber. No one would ever accuse Richard Sherman of being ‘weak’ because his body is high-maintenance.

Yet we do this all the time with our emotional and psychological selves. Our worlds are becoming more demanding with fewer restorative resources and less support. We expect more from ourselves than ever before, in terms of what we have to navigate socially, professionally and experientially every day. So why do we resent ourselves so much for having psychological and emotional needs? We fear that others will think us weak if we express vulnerability or expect them to nurture us mentally. The truth is, if you were going to run a marathon, you wouldn’t expect yourself to do so having not eaten for 2 days, only slept 1 hour, totally dehydrated and somewhat hypothermic…so why do we expect our minds and emotional systems to perform at a high caliber unless we are caring for ourselves accordingly.

Essentially, you need to give to your mind what you expect out of your mind. Your ability to remain focused, intentional, intuitive, attuned and solution-focused hinges on the upkeep of your psychological systems. This perspective will yield much stronger results than the other, so called ‘strong’ and independent orientations.

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