Dr. Deb’s Mental Health Vitamin: Finishing strong
By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services
As a self-proclaimed sports nut, I love the “hurry-up offense” that is used during a football game when the clock is winding down, the score is tied and the game is on the line.
My heart starts pounding, I get on the edge of my seat, wring my hands and jump up and down, all because I just know that the athletes will put all efforts into finishing strong, finishing tough and making it count! Ahhh … I love the adrenalin that is felt, certainly by me and most likely by every fan watching!
We are nearing the end of another year … the calendar methodically ticks off another day, the clock is winding down and we’re heading toward the end zone, the finish line, the final second. Is your adrenalin rushing? Are you preparing to finish strong? Are you pulling out all stops to make this one count and put it in the “record book” as the greatest ending ever? Well, let’s talk about that!
- A great athlete shows the most confidence when the pressure is on to perform, his/her “number” is called and the game is on the line! S/he thrives on pressure like this:”Give ME the ball … I will score!” Have you prepared for the finishing touches of this year? Are YOU ready to “take the ball” and run for the end zone? Is your singular goal to finish strong? Absolutely!
- Confidence that the ending will be GREAT comes from lots of practice and repetition! In football, that is called the “two-minute drill” – that’s right, teams practice the drill over and over so that when the game is on the line, they are ready to execute with excellence. No doubt the year behind you is wrought with outstanding moments, difficult moments and those moments that you might want to forget forever! But the wind-down ahead IS still in your control! Endeavor to use the skills you’ve developed from this year and make the ending unfurl as YOU’VE scripted it! After all, you’ve had lots of practice and you ARE READY!
- The two-minute drill evokes a sense of urgency and demands focus! Is that how you are facing the ending of 2017? Summon a sense of urgency within so that YOU are the driver of the ending YOU want. Then … focus on the game plan you have scripted so that the ending is exactly the way you have planned it! After all, a lot is at stake … and you are in the driver’s seat!
- Sometimes, an audible must be called at the line of scrimmage! Despite all your plans, your focus and your script, some things in life simply are not predictable. BUT, a great “athlete” knows that an audible can be called, the “play” can be re-scripted, and the ultimate “WIN” is still just as probable. So don’t be overly concerned about the surprises that can come out of nowhere. Merely stay poised, call an audible and resume play!
- A great athlete ALWAYS listens to the Coach! Ultimately, our own plan for the ending of 2017 may seem wonderful, but HIS plan – always more than we can imagine and hope for. So let’s not forget to listen to the Coach! After all, He wants you to prosper and not experience harm, and He plans to give you hope and a future! (read Jeremiah 29:11)
Yes, time is ticking off the “clock” – the year is winding down – and YOU have the ability to finish it with strength, with endurance and with excellence! Then, with a sense of satisfaction we can say, “Hello, 2018!” with excitement and anticipation!