Do you know whether you are strong or weak minded? This short article will give you some insights into how you can determine your answer and why.
There is a common belief that the strong-minded do not need therapy. That it is only the weak minded who need therapy.
The following are 4 of the biggest myths about participating in therapy:
1. Admitting to having a problem(s) is weak.
2. Asking for help is weak.
3. The therapist is the one who is going to fix me.
4. I must not be good enough, if I still need to continue to go to therapy.
In fact, actively participating in therapy is the furthest from being weak.
In all my 20+ years of working with clients, I have found that someone who is strong minded comes to grips with the struggles, challenges, fears, concerns, and vulnerabilities they’re facing. In other words, they can look in the mirror and recognize that they have a blemish and not run from it. So the first step, which is the most important step, is to be able to recognize that something in their life may not be going so well. The mere ability to be aware that one is struggling with an issue(s) is an accomplishment of a strong mind. A weak-minded person, conversely, will typically ignore, deny, or live in avoidance despite not being happy or having what they want because they are afraid. As they say, fear stands for: False Evidence Appearing Real. And guess what, that’s normal. This reminds me of a famous quote by Mark Twain: I have had a lot of worries in my life, most of which have never happened.
After being able to admit and accept that they may have a problem(s), strong-minded people are open and able to ask for help. Whether it be in the form of therapy, coaching, or informal support. The point is, the strong-minded are open to the idea that someone can help guide them on their path. Indeed, it usually is those that are at the top of their fields such as Tiger Woods and Oprah Winfrey who have coaches or advisors, and often times many rather than just one. Actually, it is the strong-minded that usually are the first ones to raise their hand and volunteer for opportunities that will help them progress.
Conversely, the weak-minded tend to believe that they should be able to solve their difficulties all on their own. Thankfully, I have seen clients who initially were reluctant to participate in therapy actually experience great transformation once they truly open up to the idea of getting help. In fact, clients always tell me they wish they would have come to therapy a lot sooner.
Further, the client who truly makes the most life-changing transformations are those who are strong-minded. It is the strong-minded who were able to not only face their challenges, but actively do the work to transform. I always tell my clients: if you want to get something different, you have to do something different. The strong-minded do something different. Conversely, the weak-minded tend to expect that I, as the therapist, am the one who is going to magically wave my wand and “fix” them. The weak-minded fail to accept that they are responsible for their own transformation or lack thereof, by choosing to either do or not do the work. This is why I always tell my clients in the beginning that I could say the most brilliant thing, which often I do ;-), but it will not make a difference unless they follow through and do the work.
Lastly, the weak-minded tend to fear that they must not be good enough, if they continue to go to therapy or revisit therapy in the future. This simply is not so. This reminds me of one of the many life lessons that I always go over with all my clients: the concept of both/and. In this regard, that one can be successful and doing well AND be able to continually progress, grow, and evolve. It is the strong-minded that truly embody this understanding.
Did you find this to be true during your therapy experience? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments below.