The shock heard around the world; Simone Biles withdraws from the Olympic gymnastics competition! I initially wondered what her injury was and why she would pull out of the Olympics when she is the best in the world. Mental wellness is certainly not my area of expertise so I cannot speak to how our brains work, but it is a subject that I care deeply about and can hopefully shed more light on our junior athletes.
Our society has created an overwhelming number of expectations for our young people. Whether it’s in sports, school, college decisions, clothing choices, taste in music, the car you drive, the house you live in, or your social media presence – these are all factors that determine social acceptance. Research has shown that social media contributes to psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety, especially when cyber bullying is put into the equation. These mental health issues are real and have led to major increases to youth suicide cases around the globe. Brene Brown, author and research professor at the University of Houston, speaks on her podcast about feeling ashamed of who we are because of what we are exposed to on social media, around our sport, and in the office environment. I highly recommend giving it a listen.
If you find yourself feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or not worthy of your success, it’s time to take a step back from life and ask yourself why. It is easy to think you do not measure up to what you see people post on social media, to think everyone has it better than you, or you are not doing enough or being good enough. Living your life according to your own standards, goals, and aspirations is what will give you fulfillment.
There are other factors that contribute to mental health issues, but there is a case to be made for we are what we consume. I challenge you to step back from consuming hours of social media, television, and video games to see if it makes a difference in your mental state. With less influence in your life from the internet, it may help you have a more positive view of yourself which can lead to less anxiousness, shame, and depression.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am not a mental health professional, only someone who cares for you. I encourage you to seek professional help if you feel you need it. Reach out to Dr. Josh Brant at email@example.com or call 203-790-4653.
Golf is a game; it is not who you are. It is something I hope you love to do for yourself and not anyone else! The hard work you put in is for you to achieve your greatness. Do not compare yourself to others as each of us have a different path on our journey through life. There is no shame in effort, there is no shame in failing, and there is no shame in being your best self. Love yourself enough!
Enjoy Your Journey!