Dr. Deb's Mental Health Vitamin: Finish strong!

Dr. Deb Wade

By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services

December is in full swing and the end of 2019 is getting closer and closer. As you glance back, are you content with the way you traveled through the year? Or is it wrought with disappointments, unfulfilled dreams, loss, pain and sadness?

One of the privileges I have is working with Division I athletes. Although they come to me for guidance, it is amazing how much I learn from them!

I believe all the dilemmas, responses and action plans covered in a session with them certainly and easily can translate to living life outside of athletics. Let’s take a peek at some common areas that are discussed, sorted through and, finally, enacted with a new action plan!

  • “I just don’t feel confident anymore!” If this applies to you, remember that CONFIDENCE is a decision, not a feeling. If we left it up to being a feeling, confidence would easily vacillate from day to day because feelings do that. BUT if we decide to be confident, based on a list of facts, it becomes more easily summoned and maintained.

      Example: “Tomorrow I’m running a marathon and I am confident I will finish well.” Facts: The reason I am confident is that I have put in the practice times, have added mileage to my daily runs and easily have exceeded the 26.2 miles that are required.

      NOT an example: Pie-in-the-sky dreaming. “I feel confident I will finish well,” you say. Have you put in the work? “No, I’m really a couch potato and don’t do much exercise.” Good luck with that!

  • “Be where your feet are!” Are you living in the past – the glory days OR the painful days? Or, are you so busy planning for “One day …” that you are living in the unknown future? Both scenarios can be stunting and/or glamorizing. It’s time to be in the present! Yes, we glance back to navigate the present, and we certainly can maintain a bucket list regarding the future, but try not to “live” there! Rather be where your feet are and enjoy the present!
  • “That sounds like a good idea, but …” Face it … the world has a lot of pessimists in it. Are you one? If so, even a good idea or a sound piece of advice will be met with “BUT,” which of course, means that you’ve already discounted the idea and advice as not working. Rather, get rid of the “big buts” in your daily narrative and, instead, clean your vision so that you can be optimistic! It makes the present so much more delightful.
  • “What if I’m not good enough …” Stinking thinking to the extreme! Stop right there and consider this: The God of the Universe, the King of Kings, the Creator of everything who knows the number of grains of sand on the beach and the number of stars in the sky … HE CREATED YOU … AND ME! God is the Master of Masterpieces – so never again worry if you’re not good enough, because God knitted you together in your mother’s womb! You are His Masterpiece!
  • “I’m afraid to love again …” Perhaps you have been very wounded, or perhaps you have been the victim of much loss. The GREAT NEWS is that God is not finished with you (or me) yet … thank goodness! He has plans for each of His children! Picture yourself crawling into the lap of the Heavenly Father as He rocks you back and forth reminding you that He will ALWAYS be with you and loves you (and me) more deeply than it’s possible to put words to! Now THAT is a love we can always count on! And along with that love comes hope for tomorrow!
  • “I think I’ll just quit …” Whether you’re talking about leaving a team, leaving a job, leaving a marriage or leaving a friendship … know this: “QUIT” will most likely haunt you the rest of your life. A personal note: I remember being a young mom of two babies, having a husband who was a Division I coach at a University and working on my doctorate while also a working part-time job. Many, many times I talked about quitting. “I just can’t do all this!” If it weren’t for the sound advice, support and love of my husband, my parents and my doctoral advisor (who all expressed their belief in me when I didn’t believe in myself), I might have quit! Wow – I am so fortunate to have those who will lift me up and remind me that the grind toward the finish line is worth it! “Never, ever, ever, ever give in,” said Winston Churchill. I agree!

Yes, the end of the year is near … and we have the opportunity to end it just the way we want to. Why not pledge to yourself: Finish strong! (See what I learn from my athletes?)

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Chapel

Chapel

GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

"(Jesus) was handed over to you by God's set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross." (Acts 2:23)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/