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Being Your Best Advocate

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Mental Health and Motivation: The Unlikely Life Coach – Episode 85

Listen to this podcast episode HERE.  

In my talks with school communities and my work with students and parents, I’ve noticed something quite alarming: Very few of the people I talk to have no idea what medication they are taking or how many milligrams of a particular medication they are taking. 

If you are in therapy or counseling or you go to the doctor and are prescribed any medication – don’t you think it would only make sense that you know what they are giving you and what the medication does – and why they are prescribing it and what you can expect as a result? 

Don’t you think it would make sense to know how much of a particular medication you are taking? The point here is that I want you to be your best advocate and stop waiting for others in your life – doctors, parents, your children or significant others – to do the work for you. 

You need to be your own best advocate in all areas of your life.  

I’ll tell you a story… 

Years ago I was really struggling with my diabetes. I ended up in the hospital because of it.  

One day, I was walking through Chicago O’Hare Airport and I got this incredible amount of pain through both of my feet and it shot up through my back. I remember I was off to the side, in pain, and not one person came to me and asked me if I was OK or if they could help me.  

Not one person. 

You’d be amazed at what you can do when you have to do it.  

I was able to get home, and for the next seven months I bounced between visits to my back doctor and my foot doctor – and each doctor was blaming my condition on someone else. I’m not going to say that the doctors didn’t know what they were doing – but I spent seven months trying to get an answer and wasn’t getting one.  

Finally, I took a nerve conduction test. I went into a machine for 30 minutes and they pulled me out. That doctor took a look at his report and told me he thought he knew what my problem was.  

“You’re fat,” he said. Just like that. 

I know most of us would probably get offended by that. It seemed so unprofessional, but it took that doctor to finally tell me what I needed to hear. I could have been offended and gotten angry, but the truth hurts.  The truth needs to be exposed. It needs to be spoken.   

And it took that doctor telling me I was fat to stop me from going home and saying, “I’m not fat – I’m big.” I’m 48 years old. At what point do you stop saying. “I’m big…” 

The point is simply this: At what point will the pain in your life become so severe  (some would call it rock-bottom) that you will look in the mirror and say “What am I doing wrong? How am I a part of this issue or this problem or this situation?” 

When you can look in the mirror and recognize that maybe you have something to do with something in your life – good or bad – that’s a game changer, my friend.  

This is where change happens.  

Stand in front of a mirror and take a long, hard look at yourself.  Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution? You can’t change what you can’t first acknowledge – and nothing changes if nothing changes.  

My friends – you only know what you know – and we can only do what we have learned – and I want to encourage you… 

No matter what you are going through in life, stop waiting for people to give you the answers – and organize your life in a way that makes you responsible, accountable and determined to get the answers. I want you to get to a place where you are not afraid to ask the tough questions. I want you to know who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing. Have a plan in place and be patient in the process. You can be consistent in progress every single day. 

My friends – that’s it. I want you to be your best advocate in absolutely everything you do, everything you want – in all of your plans and goals – from this point forward. If you can’t be your best advocate, do not expect anyone to give you the answers that you need, and do not expect anybody to ever care for you as much as you have to care about yourself.  

I want to be tough on you here. Sometimes we need the truth spoken to us in a way that we don’t care if it offends us – because we know that it’s going to help us. That’s it.  

Nobody will ever care about you as much as you’ve got to care about yourself.  

I don’t know where you are in life. You might be struggling with mental health issues, abandonment, rejection, abuse or addiction. Or you might just need some encouragement or a kick in the pants. I don’t know where you are, but we all have a story.   

We all have challenges and struggles - but the ones that succeed are the ones that are not going to fold – the ones that are not going to give up and quit and walk away. They become their best advocates and are not afraid to ask for help. They put it on paper. They don’t get offended so easily – and they take complete and full responsibility.  

That’s the bottom line.  

Step up to the plate, my friends. Wake up. Get up. Dress up and show up.  

Your attitude matters. Your behavior matters – and the choices we make every day. 

Brush your teeth, wash your face, do your dance and kick it, my friends.

For more information about Jeff Yalden, go HERE

SUBSCRIBE to Jeff’s podcast, Mental Health and Motivation: The Unlikely Life Coach. 

To book Jeff for your next event, call Betty at 800-948-9289.