3 Myths about getting help that the Beatles knew all along
Help! I need somebody… Help! Not just anybody … Help! You know I need someone... Heeeeellllp!
The Beatles were ok to admit this 50 years ago - and they were the coolest dudes of their time.
When life gets tough, you may reach out, and whatever help you get may or may not work for you. If it doesn’t please don’t give up and try something new, you WILL find a different process that’s the right fit for you.
I also know that there are lots of misconceptions about what it means to get help, and these may stop you from reaching out.
So let’s get this straight once and for all: getting help IS cool and makes you a WINNER, not a loser.
Let’s debunk some common myths about what it means to reach out, so you don’t find yourself in a difficult place, trying to manage things alone, but rather ask for the help you need, and feel good about it.
Myth # 1- Getting help is for losers and people who can’t manage on their own
You like to be self-reliant, independent and figure out things on your own. I get it, I’m exactly the same. You’re an adult, after all, therefore you can manage your own life. All of it. Except the things you were never taught.
If you have a problem with your health you seek a doctor’s help. If you have a problem with your sink you seek a plumber’s help. If you need help producing your record you hire a producer, and if you have too much work you hire an assistant. You’d never think that you were a loser for doing any of these things.
You understand you’ll have better results, faster, by asking for their help.
When you have a problem with stress, anxiety or burnout, you likely don’t ask for anyone’s help because you believe you ought to be able to deal with it- even if no one taught you how. You may also think it’s a common problem for most people in the music industry and the world at large, and that you shouldn’t complain and just put up with it instead. It’s a sad fact that people who need help the most are typically the least likely to go get it.
CEOs, athletes and top performers all work with coaches to help them manage their issues, get guidance and achieve great results. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt even said that “everybody needs a coach¨ and that getting coached was the best advice he ever got.
The great difference between a plumber and a coach is that a plumber will fix the problem for you, while a coach will empower YOU to fix the problem yourself. Which means: you’re still self-reliant, independent and figuring things out on your own - only with some support, guidance and tools at your disposal - yay!
Truth #1: Getting help means solving your problem in a more efficient and faster way
Myth # 2- Getting help is for when things are really bad
The Beatles, you, me, and pretty much everyone else on this planet has problems - modern life is rubbish, I mean, tricky, and navigating a work hard/play hard lifestyle in music while also trying to have a satisfying personal life is a difficult balancing act. We all have issues, baggage, conflicting desires and ingrained bad habits.
Have you ever ignored a problem, secretly hoping that if you don’t look at it, it’ll magically disappear?
I know I have. But how often does a problem go away by itself? I’ve yet to see a sink unclog itself or a person get rid of social anxiety simply by not doing anything about it. What happens is that the problem normally gets bigger and bigger, until it becomes a HUGE problem which may mark a point of no return.
A couple’s therapist once told me that most couples go to therapy when it’s already too late, and that little can be done at that point to save their relationship. I assume people really care about their loved ones, so it's very sad to see their relationship coming to an end just because no one educated them about the importance of addressing their issues sooner rather than later.
How big does a problem need to be before you start taking action? I’m a huge believer that prevention is better than cure.
I believe that taking the appropriate steps to avoid things turning to shit is much easier than waiting until it’s too late and then having to deal with the consequences - whether that’s cancelling tours, suffering from burnout, or the breakdown of personal relationships.
Truth #2: Getting help is to prevent things turning really bad
Myth # 3- Getting help makes you appear weak
That’s the biggest myth of them all and it’s so, so far from the truth.
Many artists have opened up about their struggles and reached out for help lately, from Benga to Lady Gaga, with supportive and loving reactions from fans and industry people alike. Anyone who’s human and with blood in their veins can relate, and life is waaaay too short to bother with internet trolls.
Worrying about your struggles, complaining about them or worse, ignoring them, is one thing. Facing them and DOING something about them is another thing entirely, and that’s not for the weak.
Taking action is what separates those who succeed from those who fail.
Oh, and vulnerability IS cool. There are many TED talks on the subject and I’ve even seen a Facebook page on the topic of sharing struggles get over 6000 likes within 1 week. Special note to my male audience: having to ‘man up’ is complete bullshit and culture is thankfully changing, so give yourself permission to be a man of your times.
Here are just two of the many benefits of letting yourself be vulnerable:
- It’s liberating: it frees you up from internal negativity and unlike complaining, you feel a lot lighter afterwards
- It allows you to connect to others. I’m a very private person but earlier this year I felt compelled to share one of my struggles online. I’d never had so many comments - some from people I hadn’t heard from in years - comments that included the words ‘strong’ and ‘courageous’, which seemed counterintuitive when what I’d shared was that I’d turned 40, not celebrated and instead cried for a whole week.
Only strong people are strong enough to face their issues, open up and do something about them.
Only winners take full responsibility and make something happen when they want to feel better and achieve better results.
Truth # 3 - Getting help means you’re strong as fuck. End of story
When you get help, you prevent your problems from getting bigger, you solve them more easily and efficiently, you grow and you become stronger.
Now, think of three issues you’re currently facing and brainstorm the ways you could get help - from friends, family, colleagues or professionals. Choose one option and GO ASK FOR HELP.
And if you’re singing…
¨… Help me get my feet back on the ground. Won’t you please, please help me?¨
… then I’m glad you asked and the answer is YES! I can help you avoid burnout, create a live you love, and love the life you have. Let’s do it!