Just because it doesn’t look broke doesn’t mean it can’t be improved
We’re all after some degree of success – whether it’s getting that job, money or ideal partner. And the key to winning in life is being mentally strong enough to handle the shit that life throws at you so you can pursue your full potential.
But with summer in the air and COVID restrictions relaxing, it’s that time of year where we’re lulled into a false sense of security. And when things are looking up, we tend to ignore our mental state. We relax, have fun, and when things get complicated, we think we can just hit the gym to blow off steam.
But we can tell you from personal experience that physical health is not enough. Life will continue to be hard. It might rain tomorrow. A fourth variant might happen. Hoping that everything will be okay is not a strategy.
“Everything sucks. I know it. You know it. Let that free you.” – Ryan Holiday, Author & Stoic
To make it through uncertainty, you must be calm and accept that life is hard, sometimes terrible. And to do that, you need to understand that your mind, like your body, is a machine that needs tuning. If you blew your knee out playing beach volleyball, you’d go to the doctor, get x-rays, go to physio, and spend a lot of time strengthening that knee to make sure it doesn’t happen again. This is the approach you need to take for your mind.
“We’ve been through a lot of adversity this season and in our lives individually. We’re looking forward to the challenge.” – CJ McCollum, Portland Trail Blazers
Your mental state is crucial to your performance in every aspect of your life. In other words, don’t ever put your mental health on the fucking backburner. Here are some steps you can take this summer to get mentally agile:
Get out of your own way
Master your emotions. And this doesn’t mean suppressing them. It means understanding them and channelling them more effectively to navigate tough situations.
- Handle your shit by developing healthy routines mentally, emotionally, and physically.
- Do what’s required to build a meaningful life you don’t need to escape. Ask for the help you need to optimize your mental health function.
84% of the men that come to Manifest report struggling with emotional suppression.
Improve your relationships.
Develop patience with yourself and others, especially during COVID. Learn assertiveness, rather than avoiding or blowing up, in situations that cause you to worry.
- Improve your ability to recognize emotions in others so you can predict outcomes and act accordingly.
- Be pivotal in bringing the changes you need to take. Don’t wait for your partner to moan about how bad things are. Take action and accountability for your relationship.
Upgrade your performance at work.
Finding meaning and purpose in life can make all the difference in your success at work. Check out “Man’s search for meaning” by Victor Frankl, a guy who survived the holocaust by having purpose.
- Develop the skills you need to be productive, efficient, and functional. Or have the confidence to make that career change if you need to.
- Learn skills to help you manage stress and have a better work-life balance.
Fix a bad habit or behavior.
Hey, we’ve all had them and made it through the destruction they had on ourselves and our families to the other side where we developed new behaviours to cope effectively.
- Set clear goals and be held accountable for achieving them.
- Go through the Stages of Change model to learn how to modify your relationship with substances like alcohol, cocaine, gambling & porn.
- Educate yourself on yourself, your well-being and your weaknesses (of which we all have many).
- Stop avoiding the unknown. Take the plunge towards real change and face your fears.
With summer knocking at the door, it might be hard to believe that we’re living in the first global trauma of its kind since World War Two. Being aware of our emotions – how we control and express them – is the key to success and making it through complex times.
“Mental health isn’t always about feeling good. As I define it, mental health is about accepting reality on reality’s terms.” – Dr. Drew Pinsky
Your mind is the greatest tool you own. Don’t ignore it. Manifest’s counselling approach includes a self-exploration exercise called the “ideal self” where you work with your counsellor to decide what it is you want, what your values are, and then collaborate on a plan to achieve it using SMART goals, measurable therapeutic outcomes, coaching techniques, and a lot of fucking accountability.