One of the most powerful traits an individual can possess in my opinion is the ability to recognise the need for change. This is especially relevant in terms of self help. Many of us are programmed to help others and not to self pity, but the concept of self pity is frequently misconstrued. There is a stark contrast between self help and self pity, and self help is something many of us neglect. Being able to recognise the need for change and understand when helping yourself is something that needs to be done, is key to developing as an individual and as an athlete.
Only a couple of years ago, I was stuck in a place without the ability to recognise I needed help. Before anyone else could help me, I needed to see for myself that I needed help, but I was far from this point. I was training like a maniac whilst significantly underfuelling and I was doing absolutely nothing to help myself. In fact, I was doing the opposite. This was because, at the time, I was unable to see that I needed help. I believed I had my best interests at heart and was acting accordingly. I did not want to change, nor did I feel I needed to, so anyone who suggested I did, I believed to be attacking me. No matter what others would say, I did not see what they saw, so their attempts to help me were useless at the time.
It makes me so sad to think of the way I acted when others simply wanted to help me, but I didn’t want help. I was ‘coping’. This method of coping was however destructive. If this made me see one thing, it’s that you cannot be helped until you recognise the need for change/ help. It was not until I was able to recognise the pit of destruction I had got caught up in, that I was about to embark upon the journey towards positive change.
Once you can accept yourself that change is an essential part of your self development, the rest of the journey is a lot easier. This is hands down the hardest thing for someone to do. Others can and do have your best interests at heart, but no one can force action upon you. You are in charge of your own destiny, so when you are acting destructively, recognising how change will only benefit you and make your dreams more achievable, is an incredibly powerful thing.
This relates to any walk of life, not just sport, and not just a mental battle. Whether it be the need to change your health, your mentality, the coach you are with, or the job you are in, until you realise you need to make these changes, no positive outcome will arise.
Recognising the need is always the first step towards anything. All these things start with you. Until you are able to recognise the need to change, nothing will happen. So, listen to what others may be saying and reflect, because they do have your best interests at heart, and their suggestions may genuinely make sense. All you need to do is help yourself.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!