Ever get anxious? Of course you do, we all do. It’s natural for people to want something to happen sooner than planned. Especially, when the “something” is important. Could be positive or negative or even worse unknown, but it’s that waiting period that seems to create the most angst. At least in my life.
I don’t consider myself someone who suffers from anxiety, but, that doesn’t mean that anxiety hasn’t affected me over the years. Big decisions, events, travel, change, all can contribute to feelings of unrest of uneasy-ness as you wait. But why? Why do we stress about events that either we can’t control at all or have little control until they begin?
Is it fear? The unknowing can be a huge burden to hold on to. Did I do enough of X? Am I going to be ok if Y happens? Questions that run through your head all day and as if that wasn’t enough, just when you go to lay down, the questions come roaring back providing all the energy you need to stay up all night pondering instead of sleeping. I hate when that happens because I start feeling like the quote below.
Now, hopefully it’s not that bad for you. If it is, well, let’s just say you have problems that TGDS can’t help with. Maybe seek some help from a medical professional? Kidding, I’m a pro.
But seriously, we all stress and get anxious. I’m currently a level 6 on my stress scale just being a position of transition (although, it feels more appropriate calling it “in limbo”). Sometimes we need a friendly reminder about patience. Luckily, yesterday I got my reminder.
After finishing a nice core day at the gym, I was heading to the locker room to grab my bag and leave. Just as I came around the corner, my friend Dave and I literally almost ran into each other. Normally, when I’m in gym mode, I’m not a big talker. I like to get in, put my headphones on and get to work. It’s my personal therapy of sorts. On most days, a quick hello and then I’m off again would be the treatment for Dave. But yesterday was different.
A big handshake and embrace, we hadn’t seen each other for a while, but instead of letting go, Dave just smiled and asked, “How are you? What’s going on with you?”
Dave’s one of those people that when they ask that, they really mean it. He’s genuinely concerned and cares about his friends. So we chatted. I told him I was starting the job search process and was a little anxious about the unknown. It was also perfect timing because Dave is in the medical/pharmaceutical sales world, which is a direction I’ve been interested in for a long time now.
As soon as I mentioned I was looking, Dave lit up with enthusiasm. “Oh man, you’d be great at that. And you have sales experience too? Oh yeah, you’re solid then. Shoot me your resume and I’ll pass it along to a few contacts.”
Just like that my whole attitude change. An hour of crushing core and bodyweight training couldn’t get me out of my funk, but a 5 minute conversation with a friend instantly changed my mood. What’s more is that not too long after I left the gym feeling much more confident about the job search, I got a call from good old Pops confirming he would help me figure out some plans with my house and living situation, which I been stressing about hard since a roommate up and bailed without notice.
After that, my whole day seemed to shift to more positive. I was more relaxed, I had been invigorated by a little hope and some support from those that are close to me. Just 2 quick conversations and a big chunk of my anxiety was released.
So today, I just want to remind you, and myself, to remember good things take time. Whether you’re changing jobs, moving, starting something new or waiting on news, understand that just because you want something now, doesn’t mean it will happen now. But the wait doesn’t mean you should let the anticipation overwhelm you. All you can do is keep your nose to the grindstone and keep working. Stay the course. And when you do feel like you’re stressing about stressing, find your support pillars. The people in your life that want success for you. It’s amazing what a quick phone call or a fresh perspective can do for your own mindset.
No matter what, remember The Grind Doesn’t Stop. Just keep swimming, in due time little Dory. In due time.
What’s your sign?
Although the question might sound a little cliche, it’s always been something that interests me. I remember being young and first learning about signs of the zodiac and thinking, “That’s cool! But why is my sign a virgin?!” #virgoproblems
But as I got older and started reading my horoscopes more and learning about what my, and other zodiac signs were, I couldn’t help but feel impressed by how close these descriptions were. It seemed like every time (which wasn’t super often) I read my horoscope, they were spot on to what was going on in my life.
Since then, it’s almost been comical as to how close my daily predictions correlate back to events in my life. And since I’m not a huge astrologist, to me, it seems more strange that they continue being so relatable.
But, I have to admit, I’ve always been a bit superstitious. Maybe it stems from sports, or maybe I just never wanted to stop believing in the “magic” of life. Irregardless, fortunes, horoscopes, dreams, and superstitions all have a certain level of influence in my life.
Lately, I’ve been struggling a little bit with the transition back into normal life from the football world again. Thoughts and questions about whether to continue pursuing something that, at one point, gave me a lot of satisfactions and pride, or finally acknowledging and accepting that I had a great career and moving forward with other parts of my life.
I’ve been here before. In 2013, after the Kansas City Chiefs experience, I was in the same boat. Fresh from pro football, a little down on myself, and looking for the next chapter. A transition period; something that’s always challenging for all of us. We’ve talked about it before, but it doesn’t get any easier. Learning to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Easier said than done.
It’s true, change is difficult, especially when you’re unsure of the next move. Even more so, when you’re not even sure which direction to go in. Which brings me back to signs.
Do you believe in them? Have you ever had a moment when you felt your life was trying to tell you something? Or point you in the right direction?
I certainly have. Just the other day, my horoscope was one of those, “holy shit” kind of signs.
For whatever reason, I lost some of my creative drive at the beginning of August. I hit a bit of a slump in ideas and what to write about. Not that TGDS has a followers or that I need to create this amazing content, but just the fact that I felt kind of repetitive with what I was writing about. So I took some time off. I wanted to change things up and see if some new perspective would help…. I’m still debating if it did or not.
Back to the horoscope. So, about a week after my last post, I was kind of in a funk. It’s the time of year that NFL training camps are starting and football is everywhere at every level. Since, I graduated college, this is the toughest time of year for me. I can’t seem to let go of the feeling that when fall starts to roll around, it’s time to put on the helmet, strap on the pads, and get to work. And this year, is no exception. The only difference being that had everything gone well in Ottawa, I WOULD be playing right now!
Anyway, so I’m in a funk, football weighing heavy on my mind and heart, but also, there’s some internal pressure to get something, anything going. Being stagnant is something I struggle with. I don’t like the feeling of accomplishing nothing. So in the transition phases, I tend to get a little anxious.
A friend invited me to grab a much needed beer to talk and catch up on things. I was looking forward to checking out a new spot and venting about some frustrations that had been building. After settling up to the bar with some cold brews it felt great to start talking and getting things off my chest. From football to jobs to cross country moves, we touched on it all and in between.
Several beers in, my friend went to use the restroom finally (I had already been twice because I have the bladder the size of a 10 year old) and I saw a local events/arts newspaper on the end of the bar. Normally, I use this paper as a way to see what concerts or events are coming up and occasionally I’ll take a look at their personal classifieds for a good laugh. So I grabbed the paper and flipped it open. This was the first page I saw.
I could hear the gears in my head screeching to a halt as I finished the last line. WTF?! Did this one little blurb just explain the last 2 years of my life?! It was uncanny how much this related to my situation. I’ve thought about those exact words multiple times in my head, but having it served up on a platter was different. It took me a minute to process what I was reading. My friend walked up during my second read and asked if I was ok due to the look on my face. When I passed the paper over, the response I got was “Yikes! that’s weird!”
The rest of the night consisted of more beers, talk of horoscopes and signs and eventually drunken pizza binging. A lovely evening if you ask me. But before we left the bar, I snapped a quick pic of the horoscope to revisit later.
I hesitate to show this to anyone. As I mentioned, I’ve always been a little superstitious and even more so, self-conscious. “Maybe I’m reading too much into things?” I kept asking myself.
I wish I could say there was some sort of end to this story, but it’s still unfolding. The point of bringing it up is to remind myself to be open and conscious to the world around you. You might be on the exact right path and just need a little reminder that you’re going in the right direction. Or, you might be like me, in a transition phase in life and needing a little nudge in the right direction. Whichever you are, I encourage you to be open to the universe. Look for the little signs that come your way, they could bring some new perspective to an old challenge.
I don’t know if there’s relevancy behind all of the fortunes and horoscopes out there. Maybe they’re nothing more than clever writing that applies to most situations and created to encourage the superstitious, like me, to buy newspapers. But, maybe not. Maybe all the answers we’re looking for are right there in our everyday lives, and we just have to look hard enough to see them.
Good luck with whatever challenges or decisions you have to make today. Draw strength from knowing we’re all in the same boat, and listen to your own universe, she might be trying to tell you something.
Everday you wake up with a choice. A choice to lead a life that fulfills your deepest dreams. A choice to make yourself and the world a better place. A choice to make a change or keep going. A choice to leave mediocrity and find greatness. A choice to pursue happiness like nothing else matters. A choice to be utterly and uniquely you.
Don’t wait for the “right time” or “someday”. Now is the time. Today, right here’s right now. Make the decision to live your life. Put yourself out there and don’t apologize for being you. Open yourself to new ideas and learn to grow as an individual.
Stop waiting and start living. NOW is the time.
All week you prepare for the opponent. From the time you dissect your last performance until the opening kick off, you’ve studied the team you’ll face. It starts in the film room. The last couple of games they play show where the strengths and weaknesses are and what areas of their team have momentum or could be exposed. Hours of film work before you ever take the practice field. Each rep in practice gives you a feel for the timing, not exact, but close enough to visualize. New plays are installed to take advantage of what the opponent is expected to give you. Repetition, repetition, repetition.
Game day. Time to put the plan into action. First play, completely different look. Might as well be a different team out there than the one you’ve been preparing for. In your mind, you’re trying to piece together a plan, any plan than what you have, because what you have isn’t working. There’s so much going on that you can’t think. You freeze. Bad decision.
Just like that you went from prepared to utterly lost in a game that you have been looking forward to for days, and preparing for all year. It happens, it’s football. And when it does, this is how you feel….
In the football world, you hear the saying often. Paralysis by analysis. In the most general sense of the term, overthinking leads to inaction. And usually, inaction leads to bad news on the gridiron, and in life for that matter!
Whether you’ve experienced this phenomenon in sports or not, I bet at some point in your life, you’ve felt it. “I know I need to make a decision about (this), but I just can’t.”
I’m guilty of this often. It’s one of the curses of being a deep thinker that tries to examine and predict, rather than go out and try. And honestly, the inability to make a decision has created problems in my own life. I wish I could say it was limited to a small quadrant of life decisions, but I’d be lying. Overthinking has been present ever since I left college and entered the “real” world.
Decisions about football, life, relationships, jobs, and long term goals have taken up more effort and time than necessary. I want things to come out so perfect. To make exactly the right decision and weigh every potential factor and make sure I’ve thought of every possible scenario so they’re no surprises. But, almost always, once the decision is made, I come to find out that it wasn’t nearly a big of deal in my head as I was making it.
If you’re like me, hopefully you at least can admit it. Because just like AA, admitting you have a problem is the first step to fixing it. Not going to lie, I’ve known about my problem for a long time. But I never made the decision to make a change. I kept relying on the old adages, “Everything happens for a reason” or “In due time things will come.” Blah, blah, blah.
Excuses. That’s what I had been practicing. Making excuses for why I can’t make a decision and simultaneously dwelling on the past. No more.
If you search for ways to avoid overthinking, you’ll find a never ending list of self help websites and blogs. Take each of the steps in all of those lists and your days would be constantly checking off list items instead of moving beyond over thinking.
I prefer short, sweet and direct. Amy Morin, a Forbes contributor, put together a list of 6 Steps to Stop Overthinking, and I think her suggestions are on the money.
- Notice When You’re Thinking Too Much
- “Awareness is the first step to ending over thinking.” Didn’t someone else suggest that? 😉
- Challenge Your Thoughts
- “Learn to recognize and replace thinking errors, before they work you up into a complete frenzy.”
- Be honest about negative thinking when it happens and don’t compound the situation. Remember, don’t let yourself make excuses!
- Keep The Focus On Active Problem Solving
- “Instead of asking why did this happen? Ask yourself what can I do about it?”
- Shit happens. It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond. What is the first step towards a solution? Do it.
- Schedule Time For Reflection
- “Incorporate 20 minutes of “thinking time” into your daily schedule.”
- As Amy points out, thinking about problems or decisions is ok. Planning, researching or even worrying about decisions is fine, within reason.
- Let your mind go during your thinking time, but when time’s up, move on and make a choice.
- Practice Mindfulness
- Be Here NOW! Live in the moment. You can’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow if you’re too busy living in the now.
- Change The Channel
- “Busying yourself with an activity is the best way to change the channel.”
- When I get stuck on a problem or thought, I find the best, most natural solutions come when I finally free my mind from it. The gym, a run, or even a good book can ease the stress of making the decision and let the answer come from within.
- Bonus Addition* – Don’t Ask City Council
- What I mean is, don’t ask every person you’ve ever talked to for advice. In reality, you’ll get a hundred different opinions from a hundred different people. None of which have the insights you have about your life to make a decision for you.
- Keep your circle small and elicit advise from those that you’re closest too and have your best interest in mind. They will give honest feedback that you can consider. The rest, just adds noise to the circus.
*If you’d like to read Amy’s full article click here.
Keep in mind that there’s no cure-all for our problems. Each of us are our own works in progress. Each day we can chose to grow or wither, there is no stay the same. Stay at it.
Happy Friday! You made it to the end of another week on the grind. How was it? Do you feel accomplished? Or is there more?
Either way, give yourself a quick pat on the back and acknowledge yourself. This week you met someone new, learned something, tried a new recipe or if nothing else, weren’t 1 of the 151,600 people that died today. 💀 👍🏼
As I’m sitting on a bench under a nice shady tree next to the Boise River, I’m reflecting on the week. But for some reason the energy is a little different on the Belt today. Way more chill then the past few days…. Ok, I’ve been here everyday this week. Pretty much this exact spot. Don’t judge, it’s nice. Plus, Little Bear (my pup) gets to chase ducks and play in the water.
Anyway, I’m noticing less activity today and I can’t help think back to last Friday and I remembered the same thing. Is it just me or is it kind of weird that on the afternoon of the first day of the weekend there are less people out and about (at least literally outside) than the rest of the weekday evenings?
It makes you wonder if we’re all a bunch booze hounds with nothing but 2fers and Happy Hour on the brain. 🍺🍺
Not that I’m against it. In fact, I’ll be settling up to my favorite Friday watering hole shortly for a Whiskey and some bacon. I can’t reveal it’s location, I don’t want to ruin it with too many visitors. But, if beer & well specials aren’t enough, add free bacon during happy hour and you might as well call it heaven on Fridays. 😇
It’s funny where you can draw knowledge from. I think people are roped into thinking there are some magic answers out there in some book or in this article when really the answers are right there, you just have to be open to them.
Bacon Friday’s even will surprise you…
“You are what you make of yourself in this life, just don’t expect some else to take care of you.”
– Cowboy Hat across the bar
“I’ve always been crazy, but it’s kept me from going insane”
– Waylon Jennings
Be open to learning something new, you never know where life’s lessons are hiding.