Please Quit Doing This To Seem Strong

Raise your hand if you can relate: You crawl into bed exhausted, wearing mismatched attire as far away from the Victoria’s Secret visual you grew-up with as possible. Thanks to choosing shut-eye over hygiene yet again, you skipped the floss after a quick pass of the toothbrush inside your parched mouth seeing as how you failed once more to consume the required 8-10 glasses of water today, or really every day since you can remember.

Right before you turn-down the sheets, you receive a FaceTime request from your “perfect” friend that always seems to have it together on every level. You consider not answering, but your fatigue blurs all senses and you touch “answer” instead of “ignore.” The video feed begins; you catch a quick glimpse of your reflection in the selfie view of your phone’s camera…Yikes! At last your “perfect” friend speaks and…tells you she’s struggling, asking for your help!

What’s your response? Shock? Judgment? Or, is it relief?

If you’re really being honest, it’s the last one: relief. Yep, what a relief to learn she’s human after all!

And yet, from your friend’s perspective, she’s failed by asking for help.

How do I know?… I used to be her.

Here’s what your “perfect” friend secretly wants you to know, but has been too ashamed to admit it: she operates and navigates her life out of survival, not joy. On the surface she has it all; she’s worked her ass off to make herself and her life look flawless. Yet all that effort to fulfill her need to appear effortless has ironically left her depleted, feeling empty and disconnected.

Consistently stretching herself thin eventually leads to an overall lack of integrity in the systems and processes she’s so carefully crafted to keep her struggles hidden in order to appear strong. Once the cracks appear, a frantic chase ensues where she plugs one hole only to create three new ones.

Asking for help means having to trust another to take the reins and God know’s how he or she will steer things without you charting the course.

What if they make a wrong turn? What if they miss something? What if they find fault in your journey up until now? What if?…

Better to stay safe and rely on yourself. Far better to keep-on keeping-on versus be at the potential negative effect of someone else’s whims.

The last few paragraphs are paraphrases of the inner dialogue infinite loop I had on-repeat for as long as I can remember until I became a mother. I had no choice but to ask for help thanks to a super challenging pregnancy and delivery. “Perfect” and motherhood couldn’t coexist (believe me, I tried) …something had to yield and eventually it was me.

Don’t get me wrong: The total transformation took years. The decision to stop hiding my struggles though took only an instant. You read that correct. All it took was a single tick of time to shift my mind’s lens from being focused with fear to its opposite.

As all good addicts though, I struggled to admit my problem because how could “being too good” be a bad thing, right? I’m sure you’re familiar with job candidates saying their biggest weakness is “being a perfectionist” because admitting a weakness that’s actually a strength makes you seem more desirable as a new hire. That’s a total lie.

Perfectionism is not a strength. It’s a debilitating form of mental gymnastics, courtesy of the ego. Its  insidious deception convinces you that it’s possible to prove you are enough to it. However, at the same time, the cards are stacked against you because it’s baiting you to seek something you shall never find because it doesn’t exist.

Do you see the problem? You’re chasing yourself because of your fear of what will happen if you stand still in your Truth. Please, please stop hiding your struggles in order to seem strong.

I’m not advocating emotional projectile vomiting of each and every one of your hardships. There’s a big difference between sharing as a form of self-care and commiserating out of self-indulgence.

To anyone reading this that’s also been or is that “perfect” friend, allow me to share a verbal hug with you before closing: Let yourself be Seen, to be Heard, so you can Know Yourself in order to Love Yourself.

Bottom line: All of You IS You. Share your struggles so you can authentically connect with others over their challenges AND their celebrations. Stop waiting for the perfection…it’s not coming! Strength is greatest when it arrives via vulnerability not denial.

Your Perfectly Imperfect Friend,


P.S. Are you ready to disrupt limiting thought patterns such as “what-if busyness” that aren’t serving you AND, replace them with consistent practices affirming infinite possibilities AKA “even if… I Know I’m Enough” that await you so you can consciously choose to create the life you’ve secretly dreamt of your whole life? I want to help you say “Hell Yes” to this question and so much more. Enough with the waiting for the “perfect”: It’s time to invite your Happily Ever Now to show-up!

I specialize in helping heart-centered, accomplishment-minded women stop the exhausting cycle of having to  keep it all together so they can find the freedom to create sustainable happiness and success. Join me to discover how to disrupt your unhelpful mindset patterns and replace them with affirming redirections so you can Create your Happily Ever Now during a FREE Intro Coaching Call. I’ve got some spaces in November. Grab one before they’re all gone.

Click below to schedule your FREE 30-Minutes Intro Life Coaching Call so you can create your Happily Ever Now.




Hi! I'm Nanci Besser Reed. As a Mindset + Pilates Mentor, I help heart-centered women renew and reset their Mind AND Body via Pilates + Mindfulness. I offer private and group sessions via Zoom and other online platforms. I'm also a blogger and frequent contributor to aligned publications.

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