It was really great to sit down with Mike and hear what he had to say about issues men are going through. One of the biggest being, asking for help and the fear of being, or looking, vulnerable. Social norms, past conditioning have made it difficult to shift this when most men were taught to be strong, look strong, suck it up, hold it in, and that asking for help makes men look weak. Vulnerability? Forget it.

The #1 issue is: when we are in a position of being stuck, we need to be able to ask for help and for most men that’s like the curse of death. Men can’t be vulnerable. Men can’t ask for help. We are taught to be strong. We can’t ask.

Mike talked about how he was listening to the Dan Patrick sports radio show and Dan shared with everyone that he’d been suffering from depression for years, had told nobody and finally came clean with it. He went on to tell his audience: don’t think it’s brave to hide this, or think you are being macho by trying to work through this on your own. Don’t think you’ve got to be a big bad ass by not reaching out and asking for help. His intent in coming out and finally expressing this was to give other men permission to ask for help.

I asked Mike when did he finally start asking for help? Mike reveals he was never good at it in the past. It wasn’t until he went through his divorce 15 years ago. It hit him so hard, he knew immediately that he couldn’t do it on his own. He went to a therapist and spent a year with her. His biggest realization was that there was no way he could have dealt with all of that pain on his own.

Mike gives the analogy, that when we get into a physical accident and break an arm, we go to the hospital to get help. We don’t do the same thing when we go through big emotional times in our lives, we don’t do that. Really it’s the same thing. We go through some sort of physical pain and get help but we don’t get help for the emotional pain. It’s time to shift this.

While Mike coaches men and women, he provides a space that feels safe for men, especially, to come in and express what’s going on for them. There’s usually a root cause, some sort of disconnection within that causes most of the pain. Mike loves helping bring his clients back to the realizations that their answers actually are within themselves. In truth they are already perfect, whole, and complete, and the only reason they are not having that experience, is because something is telling them that they’re not, and they believe it.

When clients can really see what’s there, they can then do something about it. Change is actually possible and how we respond and react can shift. Just because we were taught a certain way, doesn’t mean we can’t learn a new way. It’s highly empowering to realize this.

Lastly, Mike emphasizes it starts with loving yourself enough to admit you need some help, then go get it. Let go of the perception that something bad will automatically happen if you let your guard down. You don’t have to give up the guy stuff. Mike is proof that you can be vulnerable, talk about feelings, ask for help, meditate, love yourself… AND, drink a beer, go watch sports, do your normal guy things too. They do not have to be exclusive of each other.

For more information on Mike’s Coaching email him at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Wellness Collective 1324 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

- Linda Anderson, Joy Undiluted, LLC., Co-Founder