Drop the Judgment.

Here is a common human experience: We have a feeling or emotion. We don’t like it or judge ourselves for said feeling or emotion. 

I can’t tell you how many times I have gone through failure and rejection and then beat myself up because I am taking it so hard.

Running dialogue: 

“I shouldn’t be this sad” 

“It’s not that big of a deal” 

“I should be over this” 

“It shouldn’t bother me” 

“I should be more positive” 

Anybody been there? We place so much judgment on how we think and feel. We are a judging species and although we will never NOT judge we can help ourselves out. 

In his book “Wherever You Go There You Are,” Jon Kabat-Zinn describes what it might be like to not judge. “Imagine how it might feel to suspend all your judging and instead to let each moment be just as it is, without attempting to evaluate it as “good” or...

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Self Soothe and Self Care

Self Care. What a buzz word these days. 

The National Institute of Mental Health (2020) defines self care as “taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.”

But to me that doesn’t really give us a direction for our self care. What does self care mean? 

With COVID especially there has been a shift and A LOT of talk about self care. It’s no surprise that when we are dealing with hard things we NEED to take care of ourselves. In speaking with one of my closest friends last week about what I am going through she mentioned that “we have to have heightened self care when things are tough.” 

Failure and rejection are tough. 

But at the same time I feel like we’ve morphed self care into many activities,  “acts of love” and pampering that aren’t actually taking care of ourselves. Great example, pouring yourself a glass of wine or making yourself...

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Get Clear on Your Emotions and Feelings

 

“Naming or labeling difficult emotions helps us disentangle or unstick from them.” 

-Kristen Neff and Chris Germer 

 

When it comes to failure and rejection there is a whole shit storm of emotion and feeling.  It’s worth it to understand how greater society influences HOW we navigate emotion and how that might play into the experience of rejection and failure. Although our society has made progress we still very much view emotion as weak. Many people grow up in families that don’t talk about feelings at all. When it comes to failure and rejection, more often than not (particularly in sport) the message is to reflect, learn and then put your head down and get back to work. There is a time and place for that depending on the scenario, but this is missing a huge and MASSIVELY important part of how we process the emotion that comes with failure and rejection. 

Processing emotion is hard. It’s uncomfortable and it can take...

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Navigating Rejection and Failure. A Series.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” 

- Winston Churchill

“Today’s rejection may become tomorrow’s acceptance.”

― Ehsan Sehgal

 

Everyone deals with rejection and failure. 

This is something we sign up for the day we are born. We face it almost everywhere we go, yet somehow, I’m not sure it ever gets any easier. 

It’s important to note that failure and rejection are for the most part subjective. You may look at an experience and feel like you've failed, while someone on the outside looking in may view your experience as a win. I’m not here to debate what failure and rejection are and what they are not. It’s an individual experience that we will ALL face and feel and it’s hard.

As a former athlete playing at a highly competitive DI program, I faced rejection almost every day on and off the field. As a former college coach I remember countless...

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Mental Health in the Elite Athlete Community

This isn’t a new subject by any means. We’re seeing more and more professional athletes speak up and go public with their various struggles.  College Athletic Departments are putting more structure and programming in place to address mental health for their student athletes.  I believe were making progress, but we as an elite athlete community have a long way to go.  

In the field of Clinical Social Work, one of our jobs is to research and address social problems. A social problem is an alleged situation or widespread issue that affects a significant number of people.  Over the last few months my work has been dedicated to researching and addressing the social problem of mental health within the elite athlete community. 

Remove competitive sport from the scenario and mental health in general continues to be a widespread issue within the United States.  We’re living in a time where stress and anxiety are at an all time high. A...

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