I’ve been thinking a lot about crutches recently. Actual physical crutches that are needed when we get injured. But also metaphorical “crutches” that we use every day..
Let’s think about the crutches you see in the picture. Crutches are wonderful tool for a leg injury. They help us get around, increase our capacity to do normal tasks, and give us the ability to be semi-independent. In this scenario, our goal is to get off of the crutches as soon as possible, am I right? We need them for awhile, but at some point they become a hindrance. There’s one main way to get rid of the crutches.
We seek help. Usually from a physical therapist or someone else to assist you to walk on your own without the crutches. It can be a tedious and time consuming process. We make small improvements by working diligently, and we finally can move around without the crutches. And even when we put the crutches down, we aren’t yet achieving our full potential. There is still more work to do. We have to continue to train ourselves to improve range of motion, strength, stamina, etc. You get the point? Let me finish with this; I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that wanted to rely on crutches for the rest of their life. Have you?
Now let’s think about crutches in the metaphorical sense. We all have them to varying degrees. Alcohol, food, caffeine, sugar, sleep, distractions, television, social media, or any other. I don’t want to vilify these crutches, because not all of them are inherently bad things. But, I’ll argue that when we use these things as crutches they can hold us back from understanding and pursuing our full potential.
When we are stressed, depressed, anxious, need to unwind, or unsure what to do, we go to our crutches. We actively pursue our crutches. Let that soak in a little bit.
It’s interesting to think about – we know we don’t want to be on crutches because with crutches we can’t reach our full potential. And yet, it is so easy for us to turn these crutches at certain times. When we are utilizing those crutches, we might say, “I’m happy” or “comfortable” or “this is what I enjoy.” But I think what we fail to realize is how much more happy or more fulfilled we could be if we didn’t use them. It’s hard to admit, isn’t it? Could we all admit there are crutches in our lives we want to get rid of? So then, how do we stop turning to them?
Undoubtedly it’s a very complex answer. But if we go back to our “physical therapist” example I think the best place to start is with help from another person. We need help; whether from a spouse, close friend, mentor, or medical or business professional. Only then can we figure out how to get off the crutch. To eliminate the need for the crutches we must first admit that we’re incapable of doing it on our own. Now let that soak in.
Possibly you feel that something is holding you back and you can’t quite pinpoint what that is. Or maybe you know your crutches. Either way the starting place is the same; turning to the right person for help. If this is you, I’d be happy to talk and listen to you. Even though I may not be your “physical therapist”, I want to help you find the right person. I want to see you get on a path to achieving your full potential and removing the crutches in your life.
Coach Nick | email@example.com | 816-659-3076