Personal change must come from within

Ask L.K. – Because life can get a little messy.

DEAR L.K. – How do you approach a loved, long-time friend when they are struggling through life? I know that eating right, exercise and finding their passion in life would improve it, but when I try to approach the subject I feel like a “preachy” friend. I can hear her cries for wanting more from life, but I don’t know how to support her in her journey. Is it my place to want to help or am I just meddling in her process?
– Preachy Friend

DEAR PREACHY FRIEND,

As much as you want to help, you need to recognize the only person we can change is ourselves. If your friend is going to transform her life, it will have to be under her own motivation to do so.

When we find strategies that have worked wonders for our own lives, it’s only natural to want to share them with the ones we love. But those people aren’t always in the same place that we are in, and they may be in a different leg of their journey. They may not be ready.

And often when someone is not ready and we give them a friendly push to improve, we may be doing more harm than good, despite our good intentions. Your friend’s resistance to your advice is a clear sign that she is not ready to change. Try to respect that she isn’t there yet.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and recognize that every person is on their own journey, to learn their own life lesson, and to learn at their own speed.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and recognize that every person is on their own journey, to learn their own life lesson, and to learn at their own speed. We may think we know what is best for someone, but how can we be so sure? Perhaps her struggle is teaching her a lesson even bigger and better than you could even comprehend?

People in need do not need charity, they need inspiration. So be that inspiration by making consistent improvements in your own life. When she sees how amazing your life is in contrast to how difficult hers appears to be, she will become curious. That curiosity may lead to her eventually asking questions about what’s bringing you such success, and that is the moment that you share the goods about diet, exercise and living a life of passion. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

In the meantime, try not to let her situations negatively affect your happiness. If she’s the type of friend who wants you to inherit her stress, do not allow it. Protect your well-being like a precious gem, and teach her to do the same through your example. Be mindful of the fact that you can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves. There’s only so much we can do for our loved ones, the rest of the work is up to them. Be happy in your own life regardless of the outcome.

You can teach without preaching by walking the walk in living a positive and passionate life.
L.K. Elliott is a local fitness guru turned self-help author, who sees the potential for personal growth in everyone, and brings that relentless optimism into the lives of Wood Buffalo residents. If you have a question, direct them to L.K. on social media or email editorial@macmedia.ca

Instagram: @lk.elliott and Twitter: @lkelliott_

– Connect Weekly –