“My back has hurt for a little more than a year, and I could probably use your help, but I think I’ll try a few other things first.”

This was the ending of a conversation I had with someone. Someone that has been dealing with low-back pain for the better part of a year. Someone who hasn’t done anything up to this point for their pain. They are unable to deadlift, squat, and go balls to the wall in the gym, yet, for some reason, they are hesitant to reach out for help; they are unlikely to “try a few things.”

From talking with this person, it’s likely nothing serious and would be cleared up rather quickly. But, they are still hesitant to get the care they need. The care they deserve.


I then remembered a rule in Jordan B. Peterson’s book, 12 Rules For Life. “Rule 2: Treat Yourself Like Someone You Are Responsible For.” We won’t dive too deep into the chapter (i.e. chaos, order, and consciousness), but there are two points that may help explain the above scenario.

1: "It Seems that people often don't really believe that they deserve the best care."

Why is this?

Jordan goes on to explain that people believe others shouldn’t suffer and therefore, people tend to work themselves diligently to help others, especially loved ones, at the expense of their own health. Now, this is not a bad thing. I would do anything to help my family and friends, but you have to make sure you are taking care of yourself in the process!

Let me ask this: How can you effectively help someone else if you cannot properly care for yourself?

If this resonates with you, you need to see that you are not your own possession to torture. You can’t mistreat yourself, otherwise you are harming others. Whether it is coworkers you are helping through a tough time, family members you are caring for that are depending on you, your mistreatment of yourself is harming them. We are all interconnected, and our actions affect others.

2. "If we wish to take care of ourselves properly, we would have to respect ourselves - but we don't, because we are - not the least in our own eyes - fallen creatures."

“The problem is, we know so much more about ourselves than anyone else. We know the full range of our secret transgressions, insufficiencies, and inadequacies. No one is more familiar than you, with all the ways your minds and body afford. No one has more reason to hold you in contempt to see you as pathetic and by withholding something that might do you good. You can punish yourself for all your failings.”

One of the biggest issues is that people don’t see themselves as adequate. As worthy. They do not believe in themselves. In today’s world, this couldn’t be truer. We see lower self-esteem and self-confidence. Lower sense of self-worth.

A potential explanation for this could be because people have become comfortable with being comfortable. Comfortable going through the motions that they know best. Comfortable with what they believe to be their role in life.

Becoming too comfortable doesn’t push you to be the best version of yourself. There is no challenge in being comfortable. Your self-esteem will grow if you accomplish a challenge, a hard task. Be comfortable once you have built the life that you always wanted but never thought you could have.

If this is you, I highly recommend listening to “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. Like Goggins says, “Comfort zones: if you live in one too long…that becomes your norm. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” It is in this state that you will see growth, see yourself in a different light, and start to see what you are capable of accomplishing. This will improve your self-esteem, your self-confidence, your feeling of self-worth. Don’t settle.

Walk with your shoulders back, chest and head high. Believe you are worth it, because you are.

So then, what can you do?

  1. Treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping.
  2. Consider the future and think, “What might my life look like if I were properly taking care of myself? What career would challenge me and provide a feeling of being productive and helpful?”
  3. Do things that make you happy, things that you enjoy.
  4. Define who you are.
  5. Stick to your word and reward yourself.

“People are better at filling and properly administering prescription medication to their pets than to themselves. That’s not good. Even from your pet’s perspective, it’s not good. Your pet probably loves you, and would be happier if you took your medication, if you are alive, if you are healthy.” 

It’s time to put your health at the front. You need to believe that you are worth helping, worth taking care of, and are important to this world, important to others. You are obligated to take care of yourself. 

Pain is not normal and you shouldn’t have to live with it. With the beginning of the new year, there is no better time to start than now. 

It’s time to TREAT YO SELF!

Looking For More Help?

*This is helpful information, but it is general information. This is NOT medical advice. If you already have any injury, pain, tightness, etc., please seek help from a licensed and qualified healthcare provider like us, performance physical therapy in Green Bay. A complete solution for what you’re dealing with needs to be customized to all the different factors driving your pain, and those factors will be at least slightly different for each person. These strategies may help, but they’re not likely to be a complete solution for each individual reading this now or in the future.