*Note from Sarah: Jason Seib is back with more inspiration!!
Empowered or Enabled?
I want to preface this post by stating that what you are about to read is by no means a rant, or an attempt to pass judgement on anyone and that my true intention is to help!! The goal of what I am writing is to simply get you thinking about your perspective.
Having said that, I have a question for you:
Do you use the internet to find those who might empower you to succeed, or to congregate with those who might enable you to slip up?
It’s great that we can all find each other on Facebook, blogs, and forums. It’s wonderful to have support and the rapid exchange of information. And it’s always nice to know that we aren’t alone when it can sometimes seem like the rest of the world thinks we are crazy despite our results. But I think there can be a downside to these things, too.
I sometimes see (and suspect) behavior in some of the clients I have worked with in which the internet becomes their place to go when they need to find other people who are also struggling. Don’t get me wrong, I understand how difficult it could be if you believed you were the only one messing up and everyone else had their fitness and nutrition dialed, and it makes perfect sense to me to discuss our slip-ups in an attempt to learn from them. However, this is not always what appears to be happening. Let me give you a hypothetical example.
Bob Newtopaleo is still learning the ropes and trying to get this whole paleo thing figured out because he works with someone who got amazing results from it and he wants those results, too. He has searched the internet for all the information he could possibly find, as well as for other people that have gone before him. He learns a lot and meets a lot of people who are on the same journey he is on. The problem is that one of the places he frequents happens to be home to quite a few people who seem to gather together to feel better about their mistakes instead of to learn from them. Since Bob is a newbie and has never given this any consideration, he begins to believe that the obstacles in his path are insurmountable for many people and he is simply one of the unlucky few, like his internet friends. Eventually Bob may even come to resent those who are as driven as he could be because he feels that he belongs to a whole group of people who are struggling and, therefore, he is justified in believing that the paleo lifestyle is too hard for him. This is probably not the route to success, or more accurately; to health. Instead of doing further research and asking questions to help him understand what he might need to do to make this lifestyle work for him, he continues to stumble and his health, well-being, and happiness continues to be compromised…
No one is perfect, and we don’t ever expect you to be. We aren’t perfect and it’s silly for anyone to assume so. This post is not about achieving some sort of unrealistic and evangelical level of paleo, it’s about being healthy first, and finding avenues of positive and real support rather than avenues that continue to support and promote negativity. I sort of doubt that I have escaped upsetting a few people at this point, but I only want you to take a critical look at where you direct your energy. If you slip up and fall off the wagon, if you are not getting the results that you want, and if you feel like you need more direction, you are not a victim, you do not suck, and you are not incapable of coming away from the whole thing smarter and stronger. Of course, this means that each back slide should be viewed as an opportunity to learn and improve, and this in turn means that looking for people who support and justify choices that do not lead to a life of health and longevity will not be the best path you could choose. Find mentors that are there to HELP YOU, or comrades to journey WITH YOU, but don’t seek out sanctuaries where it is okay to not make progress. Your goals deserve better. Please, walk away from the negativity that can only weaken you.
Go forth and be awesome.