I have found myself over the years having a mental argument with myself trying to understand what I really want in life and what I want to achieve. Each and every person has their own way of life where no two pathways are the same ever.
This had really gotten me thinking and over time I have been able to put my thoughts onto paper where I can share with you that I have experienced in my time both in football and life which some of you may relate to in one way or another.
Life to me has been about always wanting to achieve a desired goal. All of us have something that we are aching to achieve or become. For me, it is to get myself back into a professional environment and continue my dream of playing football at the highest level.
What I have realized along the way is that while working so hard for something I want; I forget about the journey or process along the way. Knowing from personal experience, my journey has been far from smooth sailing and I have found myself in times just wishing for things to hurry up.
Realising what I have experienced, where I have adventured to, things I have seen and people I have met, looking back I wouldn’t change anything for the world. Experiences is what makes us who we are. We experience things in life everyday which we will always remember whether we know it or not.
On my journey of becoming the person I am and in my profession of wanting to play football, I have learnt that having a goal is one thing but recognizing what you achieve along the way is what makes the adventure so much more desirable and overall makes you more… yes, HAPPY.
I have been working on creating a vision for myself which I am ready to share with others, which overtime I have learnt that if I do these following things in my day-to-day life, I will continue being enthusiastic knowing I have given what I have, and it will also be bringing me closer to wanting to achieve my goal of becoming a football player.
I want to show you how you can apply it to everyday life, and for what OnTheBallBlog is all about, football.
- Learning to compliment yourself
Life can throw many things at you. Tough times are inevitable, but they never last forever. From personal experience, going through tough times, it is important to appreciate the small things achieved along the way and reward yourself for every little milestone reached.
For me these small things include score a goal on the weekend or knowing I played a good 90 minutes of football. By acknowledging that I have ticketed off a small goal it can only bring me one step closer to really achieving the bigger picture.
It is amazing what a little boost of encouragement from yourself can do for your mental health. Complimenting yourself for the small 1% achievements slowly but surely eventually add up to achieving the full 100%. It’s always important to back yourself in everything you do no matter what it is.
2. Don’t make excuses, excuses give no credibility
Excuses. To put it lightly, excuses don’t get anybody anywhere. They are a means of pointing fingers at others knowing that you may be at fault.
The hardest working footballers are those who acknowledge that they are in the wrong or made a mistake, accept that it was made and work even hard to get further ahead.
Playing amongst some great footballers in my short career, I have learnt that respect must be earnt through hard work and accepting that mistakes will be made along the way. Our minds have been built over time to create a fight or flight mechanism. Those who fight are those who don’t create excuses, always give 100% and are continually wanting to learn.
3. Let go of things you feel are constantly holding you back
Letting go of things that have happened in the past is difficult because it’s a part of who we are. But sometimes things that have made us who we are can sometimes be holding us back. Being overwhelmed with pressures and fears which have been created in the past should stay in the past.
Now everybody’s circumstances are different and how they deal with them will also be different. It took some time for me to really figure out what was holding me back, but when I really understood what I was feeling I knew throwing it away would open up my mind to so much more. I always felt as though I was carrying a bag around with me with the weight of the whole situation.
So, that what I did. Got an old bag filled with rocks and threw it over my head as far as I could. Like I said, how everyone deals with their problems will always be different, but for me I needed a physical representation that that weight was to be no more in my life.
4. Be honest and direct with yourself and others
Honesty is the best form of feedback you can give and receive. Over time I have learnt that those who care about you will give you honest feedback on where you are.
The difficult part about honest feedback is separating your emotional response away from knowing that it is the best thing for you whether you like it or not.
It is also about being honest with yourself and understanding where you currently are is where you are meant to be. I have learnt that over time focusing on how others are doing is one of the worst possible mindsets to have. We have all been there, ‘They shouldn’t be where they are’, ‘How have they gotten there?’, ‘I deserve to be there more then they do!’.
I know that each and every one of us have been there at some stage, because I was at certain points throughout my short career already. But what I have learnt is that once you are able to transition that negative energy away from focusing on others and applying it to yourself, it is amazing how much more energetic, enthusiastic and more time you have in investing in yourself.
Be honest with yourself because you are the key to unlocking the next level from where you are.
5. Listen and learn from those wanting to help you
Getting other people’s opinions can give a different perspective as to where you stand in whatever you are doing. It helps with really putting things into perspective and by getting a second opinion it can allow you to reevaluate and redevelop a better approach to things.
One of the big things that has helped me over time is listening to my dad’s opinion of how I have played. He will always tell me what I have do well or not so well. Even when I have had a great game, he is always there to tell me what I have to continue to improve on. Having him as a second opinion really keeps me in line and focused on wanting to continue becoming better in all areas of my game.
An honest answer is the best possible answer. Always listen to those you know are in your corner, because at the end of the day they have the best intentions for you.
6. Be yourself
It sounds so simple yet can be so difficult. Being you is the most important aspect of unleashing your inner self. By accepting who you are as a person, where you currently are in life and really grasping the situation, as they say, ‘the world is your oyster’. Be happy with what you have and really persist at achieving your goals by being… YOU!
7. Continue educating yourself in every aspect of life
Your mind is the most important thing to becoming successful in what you do. Wanting to continually learn is one of the most important habits an individual can create because by investing in yourself it is a means to an end.
Invest in wanting to learn. I have learnt for myself that I am somebody always need to be continually busy mentally. With too much down time it leads to my mind wandering and questioning things that don’t need a stain of thought about.
I am somebody that likes getting ahead in anything I do, so I am currently in my second year in a Bachelor of Construction Management at Newcastle University, continually learning about other footballers with what they do and how I can incorporate more habits into my daily life, and final I write here at OnTheBallBlog for you guys. There is nothing better than wanting to share past experiences and lessons I have learnt so far onto others and hopefully giving guidance to up and coming footballers.
Experiences are what mold us into the people we are every day. Through good and bad, how we respond to what we have experienced really begins to show our true personalities and desire to become a better people. These traits that I have listen from 1-7 are all built around personal experience and things that I have learnt overtime.
I want to share what I have had to endure during the past so that the future for others will be open and successful.
Everybody has a different journey and a way of getting where they want to be. But if there is one trait that you can add to your day-to-day life in becoming better from this blog, then my job here is done.
Always look to become a better you.
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