We all carry a “backpack”
We all carry a backpack, legacy of our birth, childhood, education, parents, events we faced, etc.
In this backpack there may be : lacks, fears, limiting beliefs, mental barriers, wounds, traumas and so on.
Some of us have lightweight backpacks. Some have big heavy backpacks. There are countless different sizes of backpacks.
We have no control on the heaviness of our backpack. It’s an indirect gift from our childhood, parents / family, teachers, education. That’s it.
Let’s take an example.
A child raised up with parents who always told him that to earn money, he’d need to work a lot, sweat and suffer. That money is very hard to earn and he’d need to make heavy sacrifices.
That’s definitely something that ends up, as a limiting belief, in his backpack.
And the chances of this person to easily earn big amounts of money without suffering and doing heavy sacrifices are limited compared to someone who’s always been told that earning money is easy and painless.
Let’s take another example.
A child is raised by loving and supportive parents. It turns out that he’s not good at school and gets a bad teacher who doesn’t believe in him.
This teacher is pissed off by the kid and tells him he can’t do anything right, he’s “good at nothing”.
It’s tough for the kid who starts to believe it after hearing that over and over again.
When he grows up, each time he starts a new job, after a few weeks or months, he makes terrible mistakes and always ends up getting fired.
He unconsciously behaves as he has been taught by his teacher : failing at what he does. Self sabotage.
This belief becomes a pattern that can follow him all his life and influence it negatively.
We all have a backpack, big, small, heavy or lightweight. And that’s OK.
Even kids who never lacked love, who were positively educated from supportive parents who did their best. No parent is perfect and all make mistakes that can end up in their child's backpack.
I’ve been raised by parents who suffered a lot during their childhood.
They’re both from a family of ten children and were desperately lacking love and support.
As a result of their suffering, they spent years and years seeing different kinds of psychotherapists, practicing meditation, mindfulness, yoga and doing retreats all over the world to live more peacefully.
As parents who have suffered and worked a lot on themselves, they have done their best to prevent their child from experiencing what they have endured.
And that’s great for me because they gave me love, care and support. You can imagine I’m grateful for that.
But I have to tell you something : I still carry a backpack.
My parents, even if they did their best, still have generated things that ended up in my backpack.
Going to therapy is deciding to lighten and empty the backpack.
You can’t always completely empty your backpack but going through life with a two-kilo backpack is much easier than with a twenty-kilo one.
Let’s jump in.
Going to therapy is deciding to take responsibility for your life. Which is crucial.
When you decide to go to therapy you take responsibility for your life and stop rejecting all your problems on external sources.
Which, in my opinion, represents being an adult.
It’s pretty easy and comfortable to say that we're all good and that our problems only come from others : our family, our boss, our job, our environment and so on.
Most people do that. And most people who do that are unhappy.
They move from one problem to another without ever asking themselves if they play a role in all that. It’s never them.
You have no direct control on what’s external to you. You can just complain about it.
You can’t change others, but you can change yourself. And that’s already a nice piece of work.
By undergoing therapy, you understand and accept that you have the main role of your life and that you’re ready to work on yourself to lighten your backpack.
What job is more important than working on yourself?
It’s not about being selfish or self centered, it’s about understanding that you can only change and act on yourself to live in better conditions.
By “breaking your chains”, you are in a much better position to help others and bring value to “the world”.
Why should everyone go to therapy? To take responsibility for your life.
Going to therapy helps knowing and understanding yourself better
We live in a “connected world”.
As it was well said by someone I can't recall before : we’re all “connected” to each other and to many things but we’re less and less connected to ourselves.
One thing is 100% certain : we’re very well connected to the Internet.
We live in a world of endless distractions where emptiness and time for oneself have never been so rare.
That’s simple : in our modern societies, you can now live your life without spending an hour alone with yourself.
Smartphones, social media, Netflix, YouTube : all those bring nice stuff, but we can spend our whole life on these platforms “watching” things.
We’re now, more than ever, scared of emptiness. And filling the void has never been easier.
Simultaneously, meditation and mindfulness are rising. We now need to allocate a slot in our day to be “free from distractions”, feel the emptiness and connect to ourselves.
When going to therapy, you spend time for yourself, with yourself and someone who guides you to learn more about yourself.
You invest on deeply knowing yourself, understanding what you feel, how you react to events, your beliefs, patterns, etc.
At school we learn how concepts, systems, things work but when do we learn about how we function ? We don’t have a manual for that.
Therapy helps you understand how you function and have your own manual.
And this manual is a serious tool to live better.
Why should everyone go to therapy? To know oneself better.
Therapy is good for your overall health
Psychotherapy is good for your mental health, but not only your mental health. Your health in general.
It’s backed by research.
“Psychotherapy is effective, helps reduce the overall need for health services and produces long-term health improvements, according to a review of research studies conducted by the American Psychological Association."
"Research demonstrates that psychotherapy is effective for a variety of mental and behavioral health issues and across a spectrum of population groups. The average effects of psychotherapy are larger than the effects produced by many medical treatments."
"Psychotherapy teaches patients life skills that last beyond the course of treatment. The results of psychotherapy tend to last longer than psychopharmacological treatments and rarely produce harmful side effects.”
More information on the APA website here.
Why should everyone go to therapy? To take care of your mental and overall health.
Undergoing therapy helps having healthier relationships
As said above, talking to a therapist helps you to understand and know yourself better.
The further you go in your therapy, the more connections you make, the more precious discoveries you make about yourself, your relationships, the way you live and react to events, how you think and why.
For example, you can find out why you’re always attracted to a certain type of person.
You can discover what you are deeply looking for in your relationships. What you unconsciously want to avoid and why - and what are the gaps you want to fill through others, etc.
You have a clearer vision of your relationships and how you’re linked to them. You understand your patterns and can work on them to free yourself.
Seeing a therapist helps to be more emotionally and affectively independent. It puts you in a much better position to build healthy relationships.
Why everyone should see a therapist ? To have better, healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
Therapy can help your career and/or business
Professional success (as an employee or entrepreneur) relies on many external factors.
Among these factors, there’s the company itself, its industry, growth, product / market fit, the economy, your job / work, managers, team mates, subordinates and so on.
Most of these factors are out of your control.
The only parameter on which you can have a direct influence is yourself and nothing else.
As said before, when undergoing therapy, you understand better how you work, think and live. You’re more aware, more able to identify and understand your beliefs, patterns and mental barriers.
Beliefs, patterns and mental barriers have a direct impact on your career or business.
Having negative beliefs, patterns and mental barriers can limit or even totally sabotage your career / company.
They can limit the money you earn, the growth you have, the positions you are able to reach in a company and the overall professional success you can have.
By seeing a therapist, you’re more able to identify your beliefs and patterns about work / business and apply changes to “unlock” more positive events and successes.
And simply, by having a better mental health, it's easier to take better decisions.
Seeing a therapist can be game changing for the success of a career and/or a company as an entrepreneur.
Why everyone should go to therapy? To accelerate their career or company.
Going to therapy helps being more gentle with yourself and build confidence
We all judge ourselves, compare to others (thanks social media) and have a “not very gentle” internal dialog.
“Why am I like that?” “I’m too this”, “I’m not enough that”, “Why can’t I stay in a job for more than 3 months?” “Why do I lack confidence?” “Why can't I earn more money?”
We love all these questions, right?
When seeing a therapist, you’re more able to find the answers to these questions OR stop asking them, ask different ones.
You’re more aware of the causes of your actions, thinking, beliefs, etc. It helps you be more gentle with yourself, more at peace and more confident.
Some discoveries I’ve made during my therapy are ecstatic.
I finally managed to explain the big “Why questions” I had on myself. I understood myself.
I cracked my code for a particular subject. And I can tell you, as a "Growth Hacker", it's amazing.
Why everyone should go to therapy? To be more gentle and peaceful with oneself. And be more confident.
Going to therapy helps having more energy
One benefit from therapy is to have more energy.
When talking to a therapist, you can make game changing findings on yourself.
You can finally understand why you always act like you do in some situations and the deep root of this behavior.
These big “Eureka” moments are fantastic and they always bring a deep relief.
You feel this relief when you know you’re removing something from your backpack.
And trust me, each time you remove something from your backpack, your energy level rises.
What a relief to find the root of one of your problems. That’s god damn great.
At that moment, you clearly know that therapy is a huge help in your life.
Why everyone should go to therapy? To have more energy and feel more alive.
There are tons of excuses to avoid undergoing therapy
As we live more and more in a world of entertainment, distractions and ease to skip the negative feelings, people have tons of excuses to convince themselves they don't need therapy.
I don’t have the money to go to see a therapist
This is one of the most common reasons to not go to therapy.
Obviously in cases of money problems and struggling to pay the bills, therapy is not considered as a priority. You must provide for your basic needs first.
Apart from these cases, in general, people do have the money to see a therapist. They lie to themselves.
You can buy an iPhone but don’t have the money to pay for a therapy that could directly help you live better?
It’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of prioritization of where to spend the money.
I’m not depressed, I don’t need therapy
The belief that therapy is only for depressed people is still quite common, although this is changing over time.
I’m not depressed at all and still, therapy has drastically improved my life in many areas.
As many therapists say : start going to therapy when you’re doing good.
Therapy is an investment in your mental health and hygiene. It's not only for depressed people, it’s for people who care about improving their living conditions. There’s always room for more fulfillment.
I don’t have time to go to therapy
When we really have to do something, we find time for it to be done.
Time can be found.
Besides taking care of your family, what could be more important to do than taking care of your mental health and well-being?
Very few things I’d say.
Your mental health influences everything you do, how you think and how you react to events day after day.
Don't you think it deserves a slot in your schedule a few times a month?
I can understand that watching something on Netflix can be seen as more fun to do, but we spend enough time doing Netflix things in our lives.
Again, it’s not a matter of lacking time, it’s a matter of prioritizing time.
My problems are too special and can’t be solved
A lot of people think their mental problems can’t be helped by a therapist because they’re too complex, unique or special in some way.
We’re all different and faced different events that shaped us. That’s true.
But still, the problems we face are commonly faced by millions of people on earth. They’re just variations and they usually result with the same types of wounds, fears, negative beliefs, etc.
A therapist spends his days, weeks, months and years discussing with people about their problems, they’re very likely to help people who faced similar problems as yours.
I'm not ready to dig in my past, it would be too painful to endure
During my journey to promote the benefits of seeing a therapist, I regularly meet people who say that undergoing therapy would mean to dig in their painful past and they just can’t endure that.
I totally understand that if you’ve faced horrible things in your past, you don’t want to face that again by reminding it to you. It could be really tough to live and it’s not always necessary.
But when someone faces tragic events and traumas during childhood, it usually has painful consequences on their day to day life, even if these traumas belong to the past.
The past has consequences on the present and it has a huge influence on your mental health.
Given that, if this person wants to feel better, it would be relevant to act on it.
There are various types of therapies and not all of them involve delving into the past and confronting difficult moments.
I don’t need a therapist, I can already talk to my mom/dad/sibling/best friend
Yes, and that’s great to have people around you can trust and talk to about your problems. It helps but it can’t be compared to a therapy for at least 3 reasons.
First, because your parents, family or friends are not therapists. That’s not their job.
Second, talking to someone you know is good, but therapy is not only talking, but you also need to understand, identify the deep causes, find the links between events, emotions, etc.
Third, because a therapist is neutral, he’s not part of your family, friends or anything. He’s outside of your circles. And that’s better as he has no interest, no bias.
What’s your reason to not go to therapy? 😇
Therapy is a super tool to improve your life in many areas. Whether feeling happy or depressed, I deeply believe therapy is the number one investment you can make on yourself.
Everyone has room for growing, self understanding, improving certain areas, breaking negative patterns, etc.
At MailReach, my co-founder Florian and I are both going to therapy since one year and we know it has a significant impact on our success and growth.
« It was one of the most powerful decisions I have ever made in my life. » Justin Kan (Twitch co-founder).
Let me say it again: going through life with a two-kilo backpack is much easier than with a twenty-kilo one.
I prefer to travel light. What about you?