As a professional soccer player for Charlotte FC, I feel it’s my responsibility to use my platform to emphasize the importance of mental health, especially during Mental Health Awareness month. Mental health isn’t just important, it’s fundamental to our thoughts, emotions, and actions.
But, unfortunately, society doesn’t put enough emphasis, time, or effort into genuinely ensuring a healthy mind. It’s crucial for everyone, regardless of their profession, to prioritize mental health. Whether you’re a business person, nurse, doctor, athlete, teacher, or anyone else, a healthy mind is the foundation of a healthy grind.
“A healthy mind is the foundation of a healthy grind!” – Brandt Bronico
There are two critical factors that I want to address that could lead to a lack of mental health ???? perfectionism and the fear of failure.
PERFECTIONISM: Being a perfectionist can lead to excessive worry and anxiety over things that are beyond our control. As someone who struggles with this myself, I have found it helpful to become aware of my thoughts first and foremost, and then work to bring myself back to the present moment.
I will often ask myself, “Did I give my absolute best with the things within my control?” It’s crucial to focus on doing the best we can with what we can control and not worry about the rest. This is a strategy that you can try out as well. See for yourself if it works.
FEAR OF FAILURE: The fear of failure is also a significant obstacle to mental health. We have all experienced this at some point in our lives, whether it be at a job interview or a sports tryout. This often leads us to try and ‘play it safe.’ However, by playing it safe and not taking risks, we often end up underperforming and making mistakes we were trying to avoid. This approach is a grave mistake.
I learned this valuable lesson through personal experience when I was cut from a u13 ODP team during my youth. While attempting to secure a spot on the NC State ODP team, my overwhelming fear of making mistakes and failing hindered my ability to perform at my best. As a result, I was cut from the team after just the second tryout. I share this story to emphasize the importance of embracing failure in spite of our fear. Ultimately, we should be ourselves, trust our instincts, and stay true to our goals and dreams.
While these are just two examples of how mental health can be affected, there are many other situations and circumstances that can impact our mental well-being. Prioritizing mental health means doing things that make us happy, spending time with people that bring us joy, eating healthy, exercising, going for a walk, enjoying the weather, and staying positive, to name a few. We need to be grateful for the gift of life and check-in on others, as we never know what they might be going through.
As I close, I urge you to prioritize doing your best, focusing on what you can control, and staying true to yourself. I believe in you, and I know that you can overcome any obstacle with perseverance and determination!
Never give up on your dreams, and keep grinding!
Charlotte FC #13