Commitment: Putting your weight on something to the point of vulnerability. This has been a big challenge for me recently, because most of my professional journey has been pretty formulated up until this point. Going into the profession of athletic training has been something I planned since high school and I pretty much stuck to the plan until now. They teach you a lot of things when you get into your program as an athletic training student, but I realized one aspect that was missing, was the art of branding yourself.
You get the foundation of anatomy, physiology, clinical assessment, as well as the art of building a training room, but what happens when you have hit that ceiling? What happens when that “season” in your life is over and its time for you to reinvent yourself? When you have done your continuing education and have obtained those extra degrees? Now what?
You become vulnerable. Not necessarily in a negative light, but you begin to reassess where you are as you begin to go through this process. Today my Pastor spoke on The Book of Luke, and ones encounter with spiritual growth. He stated that, “knowing that God is going to change something in your life; trust in him and just do.” Thats what I plan to do, just continue to do. Though my journey has been pretty set up until this point, I will get better at committing without certainty. Bore into the experiences and tools that I already have to build into this next phase of my career. As my friend Marc Williamson from Flamekeepers Hat Club always says to me, nothing happens by coincidence. I may not have been directly taught the art of branding, but I have great examples around me to feed from. My advice to anyone at this stage in their career is to be bold and go forward without certainty and see where the journey takes you.
Self doubt will creep into your career at some point in your journey. Let’s be real, at any point in your life. It can be like a bad cold that you get when you least expect it. Brewing in your body over time until all of a sudden you have a fever and you are bed ridden.
You may loose trust in yourself, question the choices that you have made; you may even question your knowledge base. Even with the highest level of degrees and experience, the most successful individual passes through this season at some point in their career. Often self-doubt isn’t self-inflicted, but provided by an outside source. Individuals who feel they have the right to question your abilities and express doubt towards your judgement.
How do you choose to deal with the skeptics? Manage the judgment, criticism or discouragement that tries to engulf you? Recently I came to one of those cross roads in my career where I encountered what you may call “shade” being thrown in my direction. I took a moment to check myself before that situation engulfed me and overwhelmed my psyche. If it was a few years ago, I would have probably unraveled and managed the situation poorly. With experience comes a level of maturity. Maturity also helps you utilize tools that assist facilitating manuvering out of self-doubt. Recently reading an article by tinybuddha.com, she mentioned 5 Steps to Deal with Self-Doubt:
- Ground yourself
- Balance the negative
- Take a break
- Nurture yourself
- Connect with others
With the aforementioned steps I initiate self-reflection with the question, “did you do the right thing?”. The following steps become a little easier when the first question is resolved, then the rest is less unsettling. Within the profession of athletic training there will always be individuals that will question your judgment (players, coaches, administration, etc..), but first and foremost doing the right thing should always be priority on your list. One thing I have learned is that when push comes to shove you have a better argument when you cover that bases first, knowledge and experience will get you even further.
What tools are in your tool box when you begin to wander to the dark side?
“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” ~Honore de Balzac